Community members install pop-up art piece at Emerson Park
By Joe Bachman
STEVENS POINT — Friends of Emerson Park and UW-Stevens Point students partnered to create a pop-up art installation on Monday, April 22 along the chain link fencing at Emerson Park.
Consisting of recyclable elements, the art installation contained plastics and cloth fiber to complete the design. The full design titled “A bee-autiful park awaits” can be seen from the fencing on Clark Street which signals the coming development of the park.
“We wanted to engage the community and have them think about the potential of what this park can be.” said Friends of Emerson Park member Ginger Keymer.
According to Keymer, the group have set goals in mind to bring Emerson Park to life, which includes replacing the playground equipment, updating the basketball courts, adding fencing, and keeping an open green space.
“I think we like the idea of trying to keep it simple to start with and then we can always build on and expand it,” said Keymer. “It took quite a number of student hours to gather all of these materials.”
The group hopes the art can change through the seasons.
Project Designer Amanda Bittorf was on hand and hard at work on the installation. She explained in a news release on her inspiration for the design.
“These temporary installations can often bring awareness to an issue or topic and activate an unattractive space so that the community can envision a brighter solution,” she said.
The project includes over 2,000 plastic bottles, collected by UW-Stevens Point Waste Management students.
Co-Founder of the group and District 5 Alderperson Meleesa Johnson explained that the ultimate goal is for an inclusive park that everyone in the city can enjoy.
“We want to make it all-ages friendly,” said Johnson. “For older adults, they would have a hard time walking on the surface of the playground, so we want to have a new even surface with soft grasses, and maybe some bigger trees with shady areas and seating.”
The group will continue work with the outdoor recreation class at UW-Stevens Point on project design. Johnson hopes that the complete finalization of the park will come to fruition within 3-5 years. She has begun the process of grant-writing to secure additional funds for park development, as well as talks of of naming rights for potential donors.
“When you look around here all of these are great historic homes, but they don’t have big yards. They don’t have the room for jungle gyms and swing sets, and this is where they all gather.” said Johnson.
Overall, the Friends of Emerson Park look to inform the public on the group’s goals, engage the community on the future of the park, including outside art installations, and attract area families for support.
To donate to the Friends of Emerson Park through the Community Foundation, you can visit:
To celebrate the art installation on Friday, April 26, check out https://www.facebook.com/events/2076409642408691/