Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Gifts for Riverfront Park, from our kids

Another reason to come to Riverfest on Saturday, September 19 is to see the dedication of the new benches. Not just any benches either. Here's their story.

Back around the beginning of the year, I was at a Norristown Schuylkill Rivertown meeting. We were talking about placing both seating and artwork along the Schuylkill River Trail and in Riverfront Park. We looked at photos of benches made from warehouse pallets and thought that might be an economical way make seating. Environmental as well, because we'd be recycling the pallets. Depending how they were constructed and painted, they could double as artwork.

Someone (probably Robin Parker or me) suggested that we should ask ACPPA Community Arts Center if they'd like to work on the project. Long story short, Amy Grebe of ACPPA decided that it would be a perfect for their Summer ARTS Intensive in July.

Tom McGlynn of Feed The Burbs supplied the pallets. Exterior paint was donated. Amy designed the benches and did most of the construction. Her students sanded and primed the benches, then mixed the paints to get all kinds of vibrant colors, then they painted the benches.

In all, 60 students were involved in the project. The finished benches measure about 42" wide.

The new benches are scheduled to be approved by Council at their September 15th meeting (they need Council's approval to be used at Riverfront Park). Assuming all goes according to plan, the benches will then be dedicated in the park at Riverfest the following Saturday.

The best thing about this project is that it proves that good things can get done in Norristown. You don't need a lot of money, just creativity and energy. The energy in this case comes from the involvement of many people, especially our youth.

The more adults who work on a project, the more likely someone will have the skills or materials needed, or know someone else who does.

And our youth? They don't have preconceived ideas about why things CAN'T be done or about who should or shouldn't do the work. Look at the photos--kids of all races, backgrounds and genders. Doesn't that make you proud, Norristown?

So come out to the Council meeting next week to show your support of these students. Then come to Riverfest to see their finished benches become part of Riverfront Park, for all of us to enjoy. Come thank Amy and her kids for the great gifts.

1 comment:

  1. this is just fantastic, it shows such pride and love, congratulations to all those who helped and to those young persons that will so make a difference. Charlotte Reed