Uptown, trail getting spruced up

Lois Christensen (right), executive director of Gateway Streetscape Foundation, shows pictures of shrubs and flowers to students (from left) Paris Jamison, 13; Emonie Green, 12; and Samantha Bergeron, 12, at the teen club on Friday. The youth will help wi

February 3, 2008

Plans are under way to enhance uptown Martinsville and its new rail trail, using a $131,822 one-year grant.

The Harvest Foundation awarded the money to Gateway Streetscape Foundation in December.

Gateway is using the money to unify and improve the formally landscaped areas in the uptown commercial district with new mulch. Also, the Uptown Rail Trail will undergo a makeover by the end of this year.

A custom shelter is being built that will be used as an outdoor classroom for the educational trail. Ed Dolinger, a sculptor, will construct custom sculptures that will be illuminated along the trail. The Boys and Girls Teen Club will work with Dolinger to enhance the sculptures and club members also will develop original art sculpture for the trail.

The landscaping plan will be developed, also engaging the Boys and Girls Teen Club members who will learn how to implement the landscaping plan as well.

The trail will receive educational signs, and safety signal lights will be installed at the crosswalk on Lester Street.

The first phase of the project has begun with new mulch being added weekly to the commercial district. Clearing along the edges of the trail is being done by the Martinsville Sheriff’s Office with the city inmates. Areas are being cleared for new landscaping as well.

The second phase will involve the installation of the new gardens and signage. Some of the new sculptures will be installed along with birdhouses.

The third phase will see the installation of all sculptures, original art and landscaping. The Uptown Trail will be available for use as an outdoor classroom for the community. A summertime celebration is being planned with the Martinsville Uptown Revitalization Association to officially open the trail.


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