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Great art work spruces up welcome to BloomfieldPosted Friday, August 24, 2007, at 6:41 PM
Have you noticed the vast visual improvement that the new historic landmark murals painted along a wall on the east side of Bloomfield have made?
It certainly sets a wonderful welcome tone when you are entering the Bloomfield community. It really look great.
The Bloomfield art students who created the mural deserve the credit and ought to be very proud of their work.
For years, the site of a former tire store building deteriorated and grew into an unsightly eyesore. The building crumbled and was taken down. The Bloomfield Town Council for several years attempted to work with Indiana Department of Environmental Management officials to clear up some environmental concerns so the property could be cleared and still meet EPA regulations. The property finally came under county ownership -- through a delinquent tax sale -- and the building was taken down.
However, an unsightly, sparsely painted -- rather ugly -- retaining wall remained.
Bloomfield art teacher Deb Johnson, using some community vision, enlisted the help of her students to turn the very ugly wall into something that has been educational and a definite improvement to the entire county.
Johnson applied for a Learn and Serve state grant to obtained paint supplies. She also got a donation from the Bloomfield Lions Club to help with the project.
Starting in May, the students began work on the historic landmark wall mural. The work was completed in late July.
The mural contains painted historic landmarks around the county -- including the county courthouse, Bloomfield-Eastern Greene Public Library, the old Scotland Hotel, the Blue Barn, the Tulip Viaduct, Shawnee Theatre, and the Richland-Plummer Creek Covered Bridge. The painting also includes an American flag, an Indiana state flag and seal and a king-sized apple to commemorate the annual Bloomfield Apple Festival every October.
There is also a "Welcome to Bloomfield" heading.
However, not satisfied with the total project, the students have now proposed to the Greene County Commissioners the idea of constructing some of kind of mini rest park in conjunction with the wall mural.
The commissioners gave their verbal blessing to the park project -- and agreed to assist wherever necessary in getting the property ready. Commissioner's president Bart Beard suggested that the idea be ran past the Bloomfield Town Council to get their input and make sure they don't have any objections.
Council president Eric Harrah agrees that the wall mural looks fantastic and says the council will do what it can to help with maintaining the proposed mini park. He will also have police patrol the area to deter would-be vandals who might have the idea of defacing the property.
The mini park is another great and long overdue idea that can do nothing but help the community.
To help pay for the mini park project -- which is being designed by the students and may include park benches, flower planters and some kind of green space -- the students, with Johnson's guidance have proposed to sell a 2008 calendar with drawings of the historic landmarks that are included on the wall mural.
That's such a great idea.
They are hopeful of having the calendars on sale at the upcoming Scotland Festival in September and the Bloomfield Apple Festival. Please support this project by purchasing some of these keepsake calendars.
This is such a wonderful example of teens -- our future generation and community leaders -- recognizing a project that needed done and taking the initiative to make sure it was done in a fashion they was both acceptable to the community and something in which they can take ownership.
The community should be very proud of this great improvement.
Again, it looks great and special thanks goes to Deb Johnson and her students who contributed more than 1,000 hours of labor to make it a reality.
We hope this is the first of many youth-community partnerships around the county.
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