Silver City MainStreet invites the community to a ribbon cutting on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 11 am at the corner of Kelly Street and Bullard. The ribbon cutting will introduce and celebrate the project that activates the Kelly Street dead-end into an entrance to the Big Ditch Park.
Silver City MainStreet received an AARP Community Challenge Grant and a Wells Fargo grant to complete the project. The AARP Community Challenge Grants are for quick-action projects that help communities become more livable for people of all ages. They support projects that improve sidewalks and crosswalks, activate public spaces, and more.
The Kelly Street project included painting a mountain landscape on the north wall of the street and a “selfie” wall on the south side. Landscaping was also done along the entire length of the north side of the street. The sidewalks were painted along with a traffic calming mural and crosswalk. A new way-finding sign that points out the Big Ditch Park and lists walking destinations by the number of minutes it takes to walk to them, was installed on the north side of the street. All of this contributes to activating the space and making people more aware of the Big Ditch Park (Park) an under-utilized asset in Silver City.
“The crosswalk and sidewalks have a water theme to match the San Vicente Creek located in the Park, states artist Jean-Robert Beffort. The sidewalks were painted with eddies and swirls in bright colors to encourage people to walk to the Park. The selfie wall really evolved from having the idea of the words Silver City on it, so it could be used as a souvenir for people taking selfies. Then it got tweaked into a more appealing interactive selfie opportunity and then into a double selfie, with a Billy the Kid image and friend.”
“We were amazed at the community support we received to paint the crosswalks and sidewalks. The Community Youth Building Project helped out along with dedicated volunteers. Some people were just walking by and stopped to help. They really liked the idea of beautifying the space, states Patrick Hoskins, board president of Silver City MainStreet. As the way-finding sign was being put up, a woman noticed it and went over to the Park. She was visiting from China and had heard about the Park, but didn’t know where it was.”
In early October, NM Wild held the Outdoor Economic Conference reception in the Park, utilizing Kelly Street as an entrance. Simon Sotello III, Grassroots Community Organizer, stated “The overall response I received from the attendees of the OEC was that Park and San Vicente Creek was a great venue for the event. Having an outdoor venue for the conference just seemed to fit right with the overall idea of the conference. There was plenty of room for the almost 300 people we had attend the event. The vendors were all very happy that we used that particular space and expressed that they wished more people used the area for events.”
“We are hoping that more people and organizations will see what a great space the Park is, states Patrick Hoskins. We have already had one organization say they want to have their spring event in the Park. Silver City MainStreet plans to work with other non-profits to have free family activities in the space.
We are grateful for the AARP and Wells Fargo funding, the artistry of Jean-Robert Beffort, the wonderful volunteers who helped paint, the overall design work of Amy Bell, a New Mexico MainStreet revitalization specialist, and the support from the Town of Silver City.”
Silver City MainStreet is an accredited NM MainStreet program established in 1985 and committed to working with our community to revitalize the economy of our historic downtown. In 2011 Silver City MainStreet won the Great American Main Street Award given to only 3 programs each year. Silver City MainStreet works to revitalize our downtown making it a more inviting place to work, shop and live for all ages.
The mission of Silver City MainStreet is "To encourage a vibrant, historic downtown Silver City which is recognized as the heart of our diverse community." Please visit our website, www.silvercitymainstreet.com to learn more.