STAPLES — Lakewood Health System recently received grants in the amount of $27,300 to support the “Safe Walk to Dino Park” Project, a collaboration with the city of Staples, for the installation of sidewalks in and around the Lakewood community park.
Lakewood community park is not handicap-accessible. The project will create an artistic and accessible mid-block crosswalk on Prairie Avenue Northeast.
“The care center is just a crosswalk away from the Lakewood community park, but it is a challenge for our senior residents to get there without an accessible crosswalk and paved walkways,” stated Kathy Dobson, vice president of senior services, in a news release.
The city public works department will move the current crosswalk to the west and construct a highly visible and accessible mid-block crossing with curb ramps and pedestrian signs. More than 350 feet of sidewalks will also be installed.
A $12,500 grant from State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship Company Grants will fund the installation of two pedestrian-activated solar-powered crosswalk signals, and the construction of a new crosswalk and 160 feet of sidewalks.
A $5,000 grant from MDU Resources Foundation-Knife River will help to construct nearly 200 feet of walking paths and a concrete landing pad in the park.
Lakewood teamed up with multi-disciplinary visual artist Heidi Jeub and graphic designer Peg Churchwell to gather ideas and drawings from young children, care center residents and the community to help inspire the crosswalk artwork design.
“By adding artistic elements to public works projects, it can transform a plain walkway into a masterpiece that not only tells a story about our community, but it helps to make crossing a roadway safer and gets more people out and active in our community,” Lakewood’s Community Health Director Alicia Bauman stated in a news release.
The Five Wings Art Council granted a $7,500 award to Lakewood as part of their Arts Based Community Development Grants to hire artists to lead and engage the community in a creative placemaking process to help design and paint artwork on the new crosswalk.
Once a design is finalized, a $2,300 grant from the Sourcewell Community Match Fund will help Lakewood purchase art supplies such as roadway paint, brushes and tape, and provide volunteer incentives to help with the design and installation.
Artists will host a pop-up event 2-5:30 p.m. June 17 and June 24 at the Staples Area Farmers Market in Lakewood’s Staples clinic parking lot. The community is encouraged to stop by and participate in an art activity to give them ideas for the crosswalk design.
Each participant will receive a $2 voucher for the farmers market for taking part in the coloring activity and will be asked to volunteer to help paint the crosswalk later this summer.
For project updates, check out Lakewood’s Facebook page at facebook.com/lakewoodhealthsystem.