*** 2020 UPDATE ***
We are over 25% funded! We also have selected and finalized the design created by local artist Often Seen Rarely Spoken for our mural on Preston St! We can't wait to make this mural a reality and create more public art in historic Shelby Park.
In summer 2019, I was tired of how things were going on my block and I decided to take the future of it into my own hands. Soon after moving to the 300 block of Saint Catherine over a year ago, it became clear that there was a drug and litter problem that was not going to go away on it's own. In an effort to improve the way things were, I started picking up trash, maintaining the weeds growing through the cracks in the side walk, posted a do not litter sign, emailed my city councilman about my concerns, and started calling the police anytime I would see illicit activity.
Things started improving drastically. With the help of the City and the Shelby Park Neighborhood Association, we were able to get four trash cans installed around the block. The drug activity slowed down tremendously and the City seemed to start picking up the slack where it was once lacking.
Then in Fall of 2019, I heard about this group called Beargrass Thunder (https://www.beargrassthunder.com/) who is already making a huge impact in the Louisville community to improve streets and alleyways. I was happy with the progress I was able to make on my block so far, but I was ready to take it up another notch. I contacted Beargrass Thunder, we met, and within an hour the idea for the Roland Street Alley Project was born. Ideas for ways to improve the street and alley started spewing out of us! With its amazing architecture and rich history, this block clearly has some really great potential! In fact, this area is on the National Historic Register for the St. Catherine and Preston Streets District and the Falls City Jeans & Woolen Mill
Over the next several months, we began planning Phase One of the Roland Street Alley Project, which will consist of a couple different projects.
With a group of volunteer master gardeners we will install a garden on the side of Tom Burkhart's Furniture Factory comprising understory trees, flowers, and ground cover. Phase One planting will be conducted in early Spring 2020.
The primary goals will be to establish a habitat for butterflies and birds, encourage residents on St. Catherine to utilize the alley, and reduce drug use and speeding vehicles.
Jeremy Lewis of the "Often Seen Rarely Spoken" Mural Artists group will design and paint a mural roughly 20 feet tall by 15 feet wide. The characteristics of the Mural will be inspiring, uplifting, and historic to Shelby Park/Louisville. The Mural will go on the north wall of the beautiful row house building located at the corner of Saint Catherine Street and Preston Avenue. Thousands of people driving home from downtown Louisville going South on Preston view this wall everyday.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
This is just Phase One. We're out to prove that we as a community can set our own destiny. If we don't like how things are, we can change it. So I'm asking for your support! To hire the artist, rent the lift, and buy the materials for the garden we need to raise $7500. After we raise the first $1500 we will be able to pay the artist to create a rough draft of the mural, which of course we will share here. There will also be an opportunity to volunteer to help with planting the garden in March. We have not selected a weekend yet, but will keep you posted!
Tax-deductible Donations will be made here through the Shelby Park Neighborhood Association, a nonprofit 501©(3). For individuals or businesses who donate $500+, we will be creating a plaque with their names to show appreciation. However, no donation is too small!! All help is very appreciated!!
- Danice Creager
- Jessa Henry
- Abby Long
- Meaghan Thomas
- Todd Mercier
Fundraising team: Roland St. Alley Project (2)
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