Parks & Public Space

Holly Pointe Park Playground

We're building a park! Coming soon to Holly Pointe Park: a great new place to play!

On Tuesday, October 4, 2016, volunteers from the Pennsylvania Municipal League, the City of Lancaster, and the Lancaster Recreation Commission will build a great new place for kids to play in ONE day. The playground will be at Holly Pointe Park, at the corner of Red Maple Rd. and Holly Ln. The project is in partnership with KaBOOM!, the national nonprofit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most.

But, before the playground can be built, it must be designed. On May 24, a the Design Huddle was held at Holly Pointe Park with City Department of Public Works to work out in advance some of the logistics of building a playground in one day. Afterwards, local children and parents huddled at Burrowes Elementary School to give those who know play best a chance to design their dream playground. The drawings were then used as inspiration for the parents to finalize the playground design shown here.

The Design Huddle, and this entire effort, has been led by the KaBOOM! Project Manager, Brenna Hull. With her boundless enthusiasm, Brenna exemplifies KaBoom!’s mission of giving all kids “the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive.” Since 1996, KaBoom! has built, opened or improved over 16,000 playgrounds, serving more than 8 million children.

The City won’t be building this playground alone. Neighborhood residents have come forward to assist on committees for children’s activities and food and refreshments on build day. Yes, Build Day, October 4, 2016. That’s when 200 volunteers will converge on Holly Pointe Park to assemble and install the playground equipment. The volunteer effort is being led by the City’s Department of Public Works and the Pennsylvania Municipal League, with help from the Lancaster Recreation Commission, the School District of Lancaster and neighborhood residents. As you can see, the neighborhood is involved in all parts of this project. After all, this is a neighborhood park.

It takes a lot to organize so many volunteers to build a playground in one day. If you or someone you know could donate breakfast or lunch food, coffee, water, or even building tools or food serving supplies, it will make the day that much more successful. And, if you would like to volunteer your time, you can sign up online at www.tfaforms.com/409618.

The Holly Pointe Playground project is made possible by generous funding from the Pennsylvania Municipal League and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, with a grant through the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund.

If you have any questions about volunteering or donations, please go to the Pennsylvania Municipal League’s website.

For more information about the Holly Pointe Park playground project, please visit our Facebook page.

For more information about KaBoom!, go to www.kaboom.org.

Playground Design Huddle

WE ARE BUILDING A PLAYGROUND!

In October, in ONE day, volunteers will build a great new place for kids to play. The playground will be at Holly Pointe Park, at the corner of Red Maple Rd. and Holly Ln. But, before we can build the playground, we must design it. So, come out to the Design Huddle on Tuesday, May 24thClick here for more information.

Please RSVP to confirm your attendance at the Design Huddle to erinlong@lancaster.k12.pa.us

Sculptures Installed at 6th Ward Park

Three abstract metal sculptures by the late artist Tedd Pettibon have been installed at 6th Ward Park. The sculptures were donated to the City of Lancaster by the estate of Tedd Pettibon after his death in 2014. Pettibon was a Visiting Scholar and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Franklin & Marshall College and an Adjunct Instructor at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design. Pettibon earned his MFA in sculpture from Sam Houston State University in Texas and a BFA in sculpture from Indiana University of PA.

Pettibon used earthy, solid materials to create his art – steel, bronze, wood, stone, and concrete. Through careful placement of inanimate objects he breathed life into them. His beautiful, poetic sculptures inspire contemplation. Our imaginations become engaged creating meanings of our own or interpreting his intention. His work continues to inspire us to use our imagination.

In September another Pettibon sculpture, “Segments” was installed outside the Queen Street Garage (Lemon St. entrance). Segments previously had been installed outside the Prince Street Garage near the intersection of Orange and Prince Streets as part of the Art on Orange Project initiated by the City of Lancaster’s Office of Public Art.

The Tedd Pettibon sculpture project is part of City of Lancaster’s ongoing public art program, focusing on bringing thought-provoking art to public spaces.

More Bang for the Green Buck: Using Green Infrastructure to Revitalize Water Systems and the Community

By Mike Shapiro
Originally posted on blog.epa.gov

Lancaster, Pennsylvania’s small but historic Crystal Park is located in a racially diverse and economically distressed neighborhood rich in history.   The neighborhood once served as a welcome gate to the southwest corner of the city but suffered neglect.  The park was no different, and long had been underutilized by local residents.  When Lancaster implemented its Green Infrastructure Plan, neighbors of the park considered it an important focus for the city’s redevelopment efforts.  Nearly one year later, neighbors love the space.  Use of the park, which had been non-existent before this revitalization effort, has outpaced all expectations.

Revitalization of the park is just a part of Lancaster’s efforts to recreate itself into a sustainable city.  In fact, Lancaster was the first community to receive the Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification under the Pennsylvania Municipal League’s new statewide program.  The certification acknowledges Lancaster for its progress in addressing areas of community design and land use, energy efficiency, health and wellness, mitigating blight, intergovernmental cooperation, recycling and waste reduction, fiscal controls, and internal management and operations.

Lancaster, a diverse city of 60,000 in southern Pennsylvania faces many of the infrastructure challenges prevalent in older communities across the country.  Located within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the city operates a combined sewer system, which manages both wastewater and stormwater, as well as a separate storm sewer system.  As with many urban centers, the city is largely paved—nearly half of the city is covered by impervious surfaces such as parking lots, buildings, and roadways.  Stormwater runoff from these paved areas overflows the city’s combined sewers during heavy rainstorms, becoming a major source of pollution in local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.

On August 18, Charlotte Katzenmoyer, Lancaster’s Director of Public Works, visited EPA headquarters to discuss the series of innovative, green approaches the city has adopted to improve its water infrastructure and enhance the community for the benefit of all residents.  For Crystal Park, enhancements include a porous asphalt basketball court, a plaza and picnic area constructed of permeable pavers, and rain gardens that help capture stormwater runoff. The porous plaza doubles as an amphitheater where local theaters have brought plays to this underserved community this past summer for the first time in the city’s history.

Lancaster has built over 100 green infrastructure projects designed to reduce stormwater runoff.  Green infrastructureuses vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage stormwater runoff at its source, protecting water quality and benefiting communities through improved air quality, enhanced recreational opportunities, revitalized neighborhoods, and even enhanced climate resiliency.  Increasingly, it is being used to complement and enhance gray infrastructure investments such as pipes and ponds.

The city has creatively integrated green infrastructure into other public works improvements, actively engaging community groups in selecting and developing these projects.  The city worked to ensure that residents from around the city were represented and engaged in the process, convening an advisory committee, with representatives from the city’s civic and community groups, to provide input into its green infrastructure plan and throughout project selection and development. In addition, the city has used demonstration projects and outreach efforts to seek out community input and educate community members on the benefits of green infrastructure.

The public works department has used this approach to cost-effectively improve the city’s overall infrastructure and neighborhoods and improve a range of amenities for local residents—incorporating plants and infiltration trenches into “green” alleys and parking lots; building community rain gardens; and creating basketball courts with permeable surfaces through which stormwater can drain.  Lancaster estimates that its green infrastructure projects will capture about 45 million gallons of stormwater runoff annually.  In addition to managing stormwater runoff and helping enhance neighborhoods and residential amenities, Lancaster has found that green infrastructure approaches can cost significantly less than gray infrastructure investments—enlarging the city’s wastewater treatment plant and building holding tanks to adequately store stormwater overflows would cost the city an estimated $300 million, compared with $140 million to manage the same volume of stormwater using green infrastructure approaches.

Building green infrastructure has been instrumental in allowing Lancaster to improve its infrastructure with the least possible impact to wastewater utility rates, a concern for the city’s many economically distressed ratepayers. In addition, to further pay for these stormwater improvements equitably, the city adopted a stormwater utility fee in February based on each parcel’s impervious cover, meaning those properties that generate proportionally more stormwater pay a higher utility fee. This also provides relief for individual ratepayers, whose properties generally have lower levels of impervious cover.

Importantly, Lancaster has looked to optimize the many community benefits that green infrastructure can provide. Increasing green space in environmentally overburdened, underserved, and economically distressed communities, enhancing tree canopy, and improving recreational facilities have provided public health benefits and improved the overall livability of Lancaster. We were grateful to have Charlotte share many of Lancaster’s successes and to see how communities are making green infrastructure work for their residents, providing both environmental and social benefits.

About the Author: Mike Shapiro is the Deputy Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Water and leads the office’s efforts with regard to Environmental Justice.

Dancing Arches: What's the point?

Just days ago, I oversaw installation of a new public artwork in a small grassy area at the recently renovated Rodney Park. The sculpture is the result of more than a year’s worth of discussion, planning, fundraising, design, and fabrication by the City of Lancaster and its community members, and me, the artist. As you can see from the photo above, the sculpture consists of seventeen steel arches, each with a unique shape and color, each at a unique angle.

At the end of the day the sculpture was installed, a young girl (also seen in the photo) and her friend, who is watching her from the sidewalk, were walking through the park, perhaps on their way home from school.  It had been scarcely two hours since the final arch was set when this unnamed girl, ice cream cone in hand, made a split-second decision to abandon the sidewalk and skip gleefully through the arches, her arms flailing wildly in the air as she danced.

What you can’t see in the photo is was a small group of citizens that had gathered on the sidewalk to express their concerns to a City official. Some wondered what the sculpture was for, how many of their tax dollars it cost and what it was supposed to be, while others were certain that it would be vandalized or destroyed based on other crimes that had taken place here.  I tried to get the group’s attention to point out the girl, but they were deep in discussion and couldn’t hear me. 

Since then I have thought a lot about that day.  The people on the sidewalk seemed to be both haunted by the past and worried about an uncertain future. Their concerns, although understandable and reasonable, seemed to blind them to what was happening just ten feet away.  This girl, unencumbered by anxieties, practicalities, and the need for answers, was completely engaged in the present.  It’s something I aspire to, but rarely achieve. 

I will admit that I was much more inspired by the girl than the concerned citizens, but as the artist, I thought I would the take this opportunity to answer some “frequently asked questions” regarding the sculpture before I relate another interesting story.

What does the sculpture do? Is it a water fountain? Does it have purpose?

The sculpture doesn’t do anything. It is neither a water fountain, cistern, or play structure. It isn’t an educational tool or piece of outdoor furniture.  In fact, the artwork was not designed to serve any practical, utilitarian purpose at all, although it gives Rodney Park an identifiable landmark unique in all of Lancaster, and for that matter, the world. The sculpture is also illuminated nightly, which makes it a beacon.

Why is it called “Dancing Arches”?  Is it some kind of gate?

When I visited Lancaster over a year ago to see Rodney Park and get a feel for the neighborhood and its history, as well as its place in Lancaster, I was struck by the arches I saw everywhere.  Just a few blocks away on Coral Street, as on many other Lancaster streets, narrow arched passages connect the street to the garden between row houses. At Central Market downtown, the brick façade is animated with arches.  Perhaps most famously, the Conestoga wagon, with its distinctive leaning arch frames, was invented here.  Even the meandering Conestoga River, seen from above, creates series of arches.

Arches are universal, built by different cultures throughout history and occurring in the natural environment.  It was apparent to me, even in my brief visits over the last year, that this neighborhood is made up of many cultures and that an artwork could celebrate that diversity through a form that was visually accessible to many.   Dancing Arches frames certain views that continually shift as you move in and around it.  Looking northwest through the sculpture, a family-owned Latin American corner store is prominently featured, but turn slightly to the west, and the arches frame a grouping of doors and windows in a brick building.  The sculpture also aligns with Penn Square downtown, which is apparent by the W.W. Griest Building.  Looking southeast through the arches, the senior center and splash pool-young and old- are brought into a single view.

How much did this cost? Who paid for it? Was it created by a local artist? Does it benefit the local economy?

Dancing Arches cost $50,000. Over $30,000 of that money was donated by individuals and institutions through Kickstarter, an online crowd-funding website, while the balance was paid for by the City of Lancaster. Although benefitting Lancaster’s economic well-being was not its primary intention, the project owes its existence to the expertise of several local businesses.  The sculpture’s steel components were fabricated, finished, and installed by GSM Industrial. Excavation and concrete work were completed by Kline Concrete, located just blocks from the park. Electrical work was completed by Stephen Daniels, a local electrician. Matthew Lester, a local photographer, will document the sculpture.   The sculpture was designed by me, an artist from Minneapolis, MN.  I was selected by an art selection committee who evaluated proposals both local and national.

A few days after Dancing Arches was completed, I visited the park again one afternoon.  A thunderstorm had just passed through, and the sky was clearing.  A middle aged man approached me and struck up a conversation.  Not knowing that I was in any way involved with the sculpture, he told me about his beloved 13-year-old dog.  For years, he had walked her down to Rodney Park daily.  He had recently taken her to the emergency room to be treated for acute hip pain.  She did not survive.  The man, out of work and grieving, received a condolence card from the veterinary hospital several days later.  Inside the card was a poem entitled The Rainbow Bridge.   The poem, he told me, concerns a meadow where pets and owners are eventually reunited in a grassy meadow after death.   A day after receiving this card, this man opened his morning newspaper to see pictures of the newly installed sculpture.  He came to the park, he said, because he felt that this must be the bridge in the poem.  To him, the sculpture will always mark the loss of a beloved companion and a symbol of hope.

Obviously, I could never have imagined that Dancing Arches might take on that meaning to anyone.  In fact, there is no particular meaning that I hoped people might glean out of the sculpture.  The ways that each of us engage with art (or not) depend in large measure on what we bring to it, how open we are to it, and how closely we look at it. 

To the girl with the ice cream cone, it was simple:  Run through them, now! 

To the grieving gentleman, the sculpture provided a gateway to memories.

I’m certain that of the people who stop to look at the sculpture, some will see nothing.  Others will see problems.  Some will be reminded of something else.  Yet others will be inspired.

And I guess that’s the point.

By Randy Walker

Educating local students through Changing Gears

One of the goals of the City of Lancaster's Public Art Program and Public Art Advisory Board is to seek and develop collaborative opportunities for artists to work with the community and to seek an educational component for every project.

Recently, artists Ulrich Pakker and his wife, Pamela installed one of the city's newest pieces of public art located in Crystal Park titled, "Changing Gears." During their visit they met with students in the after school programs at Buchanan, Lafayette and Fulton elementary schools.

To prepare for the Pakker's visit, Public Art Manager, Tracy Beyl, made several visits to each school to share images of Ulrich's past work as well as the model and drawings for "Changing Gears”. Tracy explained how Ulrich met with everyone on the project planning committee, as well as people who lived in the neighborhood, to learn more about the park and neighborhood so he could develop an idea that really reflected the community. Tracy also talked about public art and how it can be something functional like a bike rack, bench, or lighting; or it could be something like a monument, fountain, or mural.

The students were then instructed to create their own sculptures using K'NEX. This was a great medium of choice as the students already loved playing with them and they have a lot of cool gear shapes, just like Ulrich's sculpture!

This wasn't the Public Art Program's first time interacting with the city's after school program. Earlier in the year the after school program had a great experience on a field trip to Brandon Park to learn about the sculpture, "Revolutions." The students and city were reunited again with the help of Lucy Zimmerman, Director of Children's Services at the Lancaster REC who was a part of the project planning committee for "Changing Gears." Lucy connected the city with Buchanan, Lafayette and Fulton after school programs because students at these schools are the closest to Crystal Park.

Ulrich and Pamela visited each school bringing along not only pictures of "Changing Gears" but also other sculptures Ulrich created. They also brought along the "Changing Gears" model to explain the project and how the model helps the artist to work out the size of each sculptural component and their positioning. Student's also learned about "Changing Gears" LED-lit fountain that uses water drawn from an underground rainwater-fueled well and how this will help with storm water collection.

The students loved creating and naming their sculptures with guidance and encouragement from their teachers. They were so excited to meet Ulrich and to show him their creations! "It was a great interaction with a part of the Lancaster community." said Ulrich. "You never know when a young person may decide to be an artist and it's always exciting to hear their responses and questions."

They were also really excited for their parents to hear about the project and see the sculptures they had been working on. One boy was particularly excited once he realized that the park where the sculpture was being installed was right next to his dad's tattoo shop. The next day his dad went down to the park to introduced himself to Ulrich and Pamela and share his son's experience.

Have you visited "Changing Gears?" Has it inspired you to create your own sculpture or use it as a focus in your classroom? If you have, share it with us on the LancasterArts Facebook page! We want to see how Lancaster's public art educates and inspires you.

By Natalie Lascek-Speakman, Public Art Advisory Board

ArtWalk City Parks Bus Tours

Have you been to newly renovated Rodney Park lately? How about the brand new dog park at Buchanan Park? If not, now’s your chance! On Saturday, October 5 during Fall ArtWalk, the City will be offering City parks bus tours, allowing residents and visitors to board a bus at one of several locations and tour the parks with a knowledgeable guide. They’ll touch on the improvements made to the parks, like public art and green infrastructure.

City parks bus tours are free and open to the public on a first come, first serve basis. Tours will leave from four different locations and visit each of the city parks listed below. Tour times are 9 am and 11 am. The tour takes approximately 1.5 hours. The buses will return to the starting location following the tour. 

Bus Tour Meeting Locations at 9 AM and 11 AM:

-          Buchanan Dog Park, Buchanan and Race Ave.

-          Rodney Park

-          St. Anne Peace Garden, 205 S. Ann Street.

-          Sixth Ward Park

Tour Route: Buses will follow the below route in order, depending on starting location. The last stop of each tour will be the Lancaster Brewing Company.

Buchanan Dog Park
Rodney Park/Crystal Park
Brandon Park
St. Anne Peace Garden
Sixth Ward Park
Lancaster Brewing Company

If you plan on attending, RSVP on Facebook!

Using Creativity to Fund Public Art

The City has launched its first ever Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the Dancing Arches sculpture at Rodney Park. The clock is ticking and our Kickstarter project only has a few days left to raise the money. To keep the money that has been pledged, we have to meet our goal of $27,000 by the deadline of August 30, 2013.

My excitement for this project began this past January, my first week on the job as public art manager. One of my first tasks was touring all of the city parks. Renovation was complete on Brandon Park and the Revolutions sculpture was scheduled to install in February. Crystal and Rodney Parks were up next on the list of parks to be renovated. My first visit to Rodney Park confirmed that I had made the right decision taking this new job. I’ve worked in the City for 18 years but had never been to this little park tucked away in the Cabbage Hill neighborhood. There was no color in the park except for the gloomy grey of cracked asphalt – a depressing site for all the quaint little row houses that surround the park. There was no doubt that renovating the park and installing a beautiful piece of public art was a worthwhile project and I wanted to be a part of it.

We launched the Kickstarter campaign and had an initial flurry of donations. As the days ticked away, I wanted to find a fun way to draw attention to the campaign and find additional supporters.  An idea came to me to combine my love of yoga with social media. So on the morning of August 8th I challenged my Facebook friends to contribute in exchange for giving each of them a personal headstand. I literally spent half the day on my head. You can check out my upside down adventures on Ken Mueller’s Inkling Media blog post 5 tips on Using Your Head to Turn Your Marketing Upside Down. By the end of the day I felt completely connected to the community. Social media allowed me to create a fun and inspiring dialog with friends, coworkers, and acquaintances. As I walked to my car, exhausted from my inverted day, people were calling to me from across the street and telling me that they loved my headstands.

So here we are now – we have a project planning committee, community support for the project, the art and artist selected, the park renovations are complete and the site is ready and waiting.

It’s not too late to check out the Kickstarter page and consider making a donation. We have great prizes available: from your own private party at the park to a ride on the Mayor’s motorcycle.  We hope you will visit our site and consider joining our campaign.

By Tracy Beyl, Public Art Manager

Beau’s Dream Dog Park Open in the West End

Beau's Dream Dog Park at Buchanan Park

Just one year ago, the dog park at Buchanan Park was merely a simple, fenced off space along the eastern edge of the park where dogs were welcome to run and play. While some may argue that is all a dog needs, City resident Angela Bauman dreamed of something more – a canine amusement park for her German shorthaired pointer Beau and the many other local dogs that frequent the park. She entered her idea in the Beneful Dream Dog Park contest, and 10 months after winning the contest, Angela and Beau’s Dream Dog Park is finally open.

Earlier this month, Beneful’s Dream Team, made up of celebrity interior designer Nate Berkus, DIY Network star Jason Cameron and pet expert Arden Moore, unveiled the completed park. The sprawling hills, roller coaster bridges and fun water features have perfectly translated Angela’s fantasy into Lancaster’s new reality.

The new park has attracted many visitors, both old and new. Lancaster City loves its new Dream Dog Park!

Here’s a quick reminder of the rules:

1.  All dogs must be inoculated and declared healthy by a veterinarian.
2.  All dogs must be at least 16 weeks of age.
3.  All dogs must be neutered/spayed.
4.  Keep your dog leashed outside the dog park.
5.  Dogs may not be left unattended in the dog park.
6.  Aggressive behavior from dogs or people is NOT allowed.
7.  Clean up after your dog and yourself.
8.  Watch your dog. You are legally responsible for any damage done by your dog.
9.  No unattended children may enter the dog park. Parents/guardians are solely responsible for their children while in the dog park.
10.  Keep gates closed.
11.  Skateboarding, bicycle riding, rollerblading and running is not allowed in the dog park.
12.  Pinch (prong) or spike collars are NOT allowed in the dog park. Haltis, gentle leaders, and head collars should be removed for your dog’s safety.
13.  Glass items are not allowed in the dog park.
14.  Parking on Franklin & Marshall College property is not permitted between 7:00 am and 6:00 pm.

To report a violation of the dog park rules between 7:00 am and 3:30 pm Monday through Friday, please call the Parks Bureau at 717-291-4841. At other times, contact the police at 717-291-4911. For a true emergency, always call 911.

The park is free and open to the public. Please help everyone to enjoy the park by acting responsibly and respecting all dogs and their owners.
For more information, visit Beau’s Dream Dog Park on Facebook!