Minneapolis artist Randy Walker has been selected to design and create the Innovation Cornerstone (NE) at the corner of Lindsay Street and Murrow Boulevard. Randy's work has a relationship to both textiles and innovative play. Click here to see examples of his work and bio.
Timeline for construction of the cornerstone: Randy will return to Greensboro, June 3-5, 2015 for a series of meetings to learn more about the community to further inform his design for the Innovation Cornerstone. He will present a formal proposal for the site in July and then begin construction of the piece after approval. Anticipated installation of the artwork and completion of the site no later than Spring 2016.
Chandler Concrete Inc sells concrete manufacturing plant at 1420 Mill Street and signed restrictive covenant agreeing to cease use of the railroad track that runs adjacent to the property. Property purchased by Mill Street Commons LLC. Plans begin moving forward for design of Greenway along rail line on Phase 4. Click here to read article in the Triad Business Journal.
The Downtown Greenway has joined Pinterest and Foursquare. Go to http://www.pinterest.com/downtwngreenway/ and pin some of the cool Downtown Greenway art and site furnishings.
Then go to Foursquare at https://foursquare.com/downtwngreenway to find all the great art along the Downtown Greenway.
To help promote Bike to Work Week and National Bike Month, the Trek Bicycle Store in Greensboro and The Sales Factory have issued a challenge to all Greensboro area businesses. Whose staff can log the most miles commuting to work by bicycle?
Teams will be competing throughout the week in multiple categories. The winning teams will be announced at the Bike Movie Night event at Geeksboro Coffeehouse Cinema on Thursday, May 22. Details forthcoming!
Bicycling in Greensboro Bike to Work Week
Add this event to your Google calendar.
Learn more at www.bikegso.com.
Need some pointers? Hit up at Matt Leighton, pictured in this photo by Alex Pegg Photography. (Check him out on Facebook, too.) Matt is Team Manager at UNCG Cycling and bartender at Mellow Mushroom on Elm Street.
Need to convince the boss? Infographic round-up of the bottom-line bennies of biking to work on HuffingtonPost.com.
Don't know what to wear? Ivajean.com blogs about bike style, and sells skirts and shirts so you can traverse from the Greenway to the boardroom.
With April coming to a close, this weekend is a good time to sneak in some last minute plants and flowers. Greensboro’s permaculture expert and Downtown Greenway consultant Charlie Headington offers a few ideas to feed the "thieves" and other beneficial insects needed to maintain a healthy organic garden.
"Some for the thieves, some for the birds, and some for us," Charlie says. "Beneficial insects manage the not-so-beneficial insects, or insects that we don't want. In an organic garden, you let insects manage other insects."
Butterfly Bush - attracts the yellow swallowtail butterfly
Butterfly Weed - a bright orange flower, which attracts monarch butterflies
Pawpaw Tree - produces edible fruit, which attracts the zebra swallowtail butterfly
Ground cover plants that attract beneficial insects
White clover (attracts honeybees for clover honey)
Hide a fence or garden wall
Trumpet honeysuckle (for the hummingbirds)
[caption id="attachment_1816" align="alignright" width="300"] Charlie Headington's plans for the West Smith and Prescott Streets' cornerstone orchard.[/caption]
These plants and flowers will be included in the proposed orchard and garden design that Charlie created for the West Smith and Prescott Street area near the Greenway. Read the Greensboro News & Record article on the garden’s planned design and for more information about the planned sculptures and seating area designed by Boston, MA, architects Mags Harries and Lajos Héder.
Learn more about Permaculture Gardening with Charlie Headington. Charlie is hosting a Permaculture Gardening Workshop on Saturday, April 27. To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
My name is Scott Neely, and I live in downtown Greensboro in the south side district. Aside from being a youth and arts director, I’m finishing my post-graduate certificate in Sustainable Community Planning and Design from Boston Architectural College. One of the things that caught my eye with the Downtown Greenway project was the Greenway at Fisher Park being developed along Smith Street. I noticed the curbs and the sunken area...and I thought that looked a little different than what we normally see. Putting two and two together with what I’ve been studying, I immediately thought that it had to be a sustainable rain garden—and I was really excited about that!
In truth, we are really good at paving things. We actually need to have a little bit of a concrete diet in our lifestyle. The importance of this rain garden is that it catches the water without it running off into the storm drains, especially when we experience a heavy storm. Storm drains can overflow in major rains, so when it overflows it can create flooding and water pollution. Also when water hits an impervious surface, it can run for miles and collect a bunch of pollutants along the way. Sustainability is not just a trend. It’s here to stay, and it’s what we all need to start thinking about as we move forward.
Dabney Sanders: We knew from the early planning stages for the Downtown Greenway that we wanted public art to be a major component of this 4-mile loop, and we are using North Carolina artists to create benches, much like the bench that I am sitting on now, here in Morehead Park. The process to select artists involves submitting their qualifications and examples of prior work. Then we select the artist and ask that they come to Greensboro, meet with the neighborhoods, learn the neighborhood vision as well as its history, and then create a proposal for a bench that reflects the area. We have commissioned three artists to date, and two of those artist benches have been installed. The first one is a bench called Five Points that Gary Gresko from Oriental, North Carolina, designed. It reflects the history of the Warnersville neighborhood, which is a fascinating history that many people in Greensboro are not aware of. So, we are pleased to be able to tell that story as people enjoy and use the Greenway.
Gary Gresko: These are glacial boulders dug up right out of this site to represent the bedrock of this community and the beginning of the Greenway project. So there are five boulders placed here, one behind each bench—each a symbol representing the community.
Xandra Eden: There is a nice kind of open communication in all aspects of moving toward this project because the idea is we want this Greenway to be loved, appreciated, and used by the neighborhoods that are nearby—not just plopped down out of nowhere. We want the benches to be a part of each community. The best approach is to communicate with each community and make sure that the bench is something they are going to love, and that will enrich their lives.
Dabney Sanders: The bench that I am sitting on now is called Inside/Out, created by Ben Kastner and Toby Keeton from Wilmington, North Carolina. In this particular area,we did not have a neighborhood in exactly the same way that we had in Warnersville. So we did look at history, and this area where we are sitting had originally been a part of Governor John Motley Morehead’s property—a large property that has now been whittled down to just a few acres. His home was Blandwood, which sits about a half block away from us. And we looked at the fact that this had been called the Morehead neighborhood.
The artist looked at some furniture in Blandwood—some historical pieces that had a good story to tell. He decided to create these outdoor pieces using steel and concrete, and recreate them as an outdoor living room. The artist talked about seeing the Greenway as an inviting place for people to enjoy, but then stop for a little respite and perhaps have a conversation with somebody they do not know. This seating arrangement provides a welcoming opportunity to converse.
The next bench that we are planning is still in the design phase, and will be located near the Fisher Park neighborhood. The artist , Jeanette Brossart from Durham, North Carolina, has already held some community meetings with the Fisher Park neighborhood. We are looking forward to seeing the end product at the end of 2013 or early 2014.
Dabney Sanders: We knew from the early planning stages for the Downtown Greenway that we wanted public art to be a major component of this 4-mile loop. We wanted those pieces of public art to represent city-wide themes that have been important in making Greensboro what it is today. So we have commissioned the first artist to create a cornerstone with the theme of "Motion," called Gateway of the Open Book. Rhode Island artist Brower Hatcher created that piece, and he collaborated with local artist Frank Russell as well as students from local elementary and high schools represented by the Warnersville neighborhood, the closest neighborhood to Gateway of the Open Book.
Frank Russell: It is always terrific to work with kids. Kids have absolute raw, unedited creativity streaming out of them. It is unfiltered, and they will tell you exactly what they see or feel or think, provided you can get them talking—and you have to get them talking. Barbara brought coffee, and we actually gave them caffeine to elicit a response—with cookies and coffee and some time. I think when people Peter’s age began to see one another participate, it encouraged them to loosen up and participate. Peter was very outspoken and had terrific ideas on paper. Kids are just creative genius. We did not have to make up anything for these iconic images. We created almost 40 images, and we actually used 25 in the sculpture itself. They definitely brought their 'A' game. We also played with some found objects that provided the idea of the four quarters of the moon and the sun.
Peter Smith: Me and my friends, we drew pictures of the moon, the sun, the galaxy—all types of stuff. It was the first time that I had worked with scrap metals. We would go through copper, boxes of copper, and pipes. There we started talking about the sculpture—phase one of it.
Frank Russell: We were challenged. We were invited to mention several things about the strengths of Greensboro, our city. And I think education is one of the most powerful things that Greensboro has going. We have so many colleges, so many universities. So, to have it shaped as a book for knowledge and research and all the fun, excellent things that are going to be found in this particular book, from fish to rocket ships to flying saucers to a lot of great things, made sense. These kids gave us these ideas. These kids told us what should be in the cornerstone.
Peter Smith: It makes me feel wonderful because it was something that I took part in with me and my friends, and we did something for the community.
Sandra Boren: The Downtown Greenway provides some great opportunities for folks to get out in a safe environment for physical activity, whether that is running, walking or cycling. We are delighted to be investing in that, and it is an opportunity for our entire community to get out and experience the great outdoors without having to go very far from home.
John McLendon: The Downtown Greenway, as a loop around downtown, will be a hub of the entire trails, greenways, and system of bike lanes and bike routes going out into Greensboro and to Guilford County. Eventually, there will be connections planned with the Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway to the Bicentennial Greenway, which will run all the way over to High Point and the Piedmont Greenway, which is planned to connect to Winston-Salem. So this Greenway is the hub, and it will be the hub of a network that will allow people to walk and ride their bikes all over the region safely. We do have some places where there are good sidewalks and people can walk. And there are bike lanes where we can ride on streets, but there are a lot of gaps where you just cannot safely connect to by riding your bicycle or walking without using the Greenway that is planned around downtown and the connectors reaching into the larger part of Greensboro.
Connie McLendon: We love to go on long rides on the weekends, but like John said, there are some areas that we go in that really are not very safe.
To one day be able to ride on a trail from here to Winston-Salem and back in a relatively safe spectrum is very exciting to me because it is a little bit scary to be out there some days. To be on the trail and interacting with other people and the whole safety factor is just very exciting to me.
T. Dianne Bellamy-Small: Since this Greenway is connected to neighborhoods, it makes it a lot easier. I do not have to go somewhere else to be involved with physical activity. For some of these folks, they can just come out their back doors and walk over to the Greenway, then walk a half mile or a mile and then come back home.
Natalie Abbassi: Well, a healthy lifestyle and going green is very important to me. So when I think of the Greenway, I think of this as a means to be more healthy, a means to exercise, and a means to get my body moving. We could be less dependent on our cars. We could be more social. We could walk our dogs and get on our bikes. It is just going to be better for the environment and better for our bodies and health.
Susan Schwartz: You will be able to live downtown if you want to, and walk or ride to your place of work, to all entertainment—and get exercise. I think this is a very high quality of life for people, and as the world grows and we face different issues, we all know that you want to be in your car less, you want to eat better, you want to walk more, and you want to live near your work. All of those features will be provided through the Greenway.
Dabney Sanders: We knew from the early planning stages for the Downtown Greenway that we wanted public art to be a major component of this 4-mile loop. Certainly, we are interested in people enjoying it for health and recreation. We are doing it to encourage economic development, but we also wanted to create something that was iconic for Greensboro and something that would really represent what Greensboro is and Greensboro’s rich history.
There were some opportunities to have artists create purely functional works for us, so we have bike racks that will be scattered along the Greenway. We have commissioned a local artist to do two of those bike racks so far, and we plan to continue that as we build additional sections. We also realized after the original planning process that we were presented with some unique opportunities, either to tell stories or to create an environment with public art. So we have some other things—special markers that we have done, two really exciting ones so far. One is called ColorHaus, designed by Primary Flight, an artist group from Miami. You can see the painted murals as a backdrop to this trailhead parking area here at Morehead Park. We collaborated with Elsewhere to bring the group of artists from Miami to do a three-week residency here. They were able to involve the community in some of their work, and we think it makes a great statement to encourage people to see a little something different and want to explore this section of the Greenway.
The other piece that excites us is a piece called Over.Under.Pass, created by local Greensboro artists Jim Gallucci and Scott Richardson. We had an opportunity in this section of Morehead Park to reclaim an abandoned railroad underpass that had not been in use since the mid 1970s. This was an underpass that used to be well-used by both vehicles and pedestrians, and has been impassible all of these years. When we were looking at the opportunities there, we wanted to create a safe environment but we also wanted to create an artistically exciting environment as well. Jim Gallucci designed iron gates modeled after art deco style architectural features he found on a nearby building that was built in 1928—the same year that the railroad underpass was built. Scott Richardson designed a lighting program using colored, motion-sensored LED lights. As the public traverses through the area, they can interact with and make the lights do interesting things. Over.Under.Pass has been a popular attraction here—something new and a little bit unusual for Greensboro.
We were recognized for this project with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and we love hearing Rocco Landesman, the chairman of the NEA, talk all over the country about how proud he is of what Greensboro is doing in terms of creative placemaking in their community.