SAVING ELWELL PARK: THIS TURTLE HAS SOME STORIES
Fundraiser for MARCY-HOLMES NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION

SAVING ELWELL PARK: THIS TURTLE HAS SOME STORIES Chris is raising money for MARCY-HOLMES NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION.

Help us restore our neighborhood's treasured and storied little park.

Elwell Park in Marcy-Holmes—an art-filled public space for gathering, playing and musing—needs your help.

Donate now and double the value of your gift thanks to neighborhood residents Craig Harris and Candy Keuhn!* All gifts are tax-deductible.

At 714 6th Street SE, in the heart of the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood, sits Elwell Park—fondly referred to as Turtle Park for the sculptured mosaic turtle that welcomes visitors. Long-time neighborhood residents know well this park’s colorful history. Some residents discover it on walks, runs or family outings. Many more don’t even know it exists.Yet, the park is an important neighborhood asset that needs your help.

Elwell has a long history. It was established in 1968—after we lost the original, much larger Elwell Park to the construction of 35W. Then, in 1999, the neighborhood community came together to redesign the park as an art-filled, community gathering space.

We engaged local artists Susan Warner and Marcia MacEachron to create original mosaics and metalwork, laid out in a design that evokes the floorplan of a house. We also invited kids from Marcy Open School to design tiles for the art work and neighborhood green thumbs planted a garden. 

For two decades, Elwell Park has been an intimate, kid-friendly public space where people (and dogs) of all ages come to play, exercise, enjoy the sun and hang out around art. (Read the full history of Elwell Park at Dave Smith's blog: https://minneapolisparkhistory.com/2017/04/21/help-a-neighborhood-help-a-park-elwell-park-iii/)

But time hasn’t been kind to our neighborhood turtle. The metalwork is rusted, and mosaic tiles are cracked or missing, especially on the park’s centerpiece “couch.” The garden has been mowed over. Our once-welcoming park is in danger of becoming lost. So are the stories associated with the park. 

Please help us revive and restore Elwell Park by making a donation today. We need to raise $45,000, which will go toward the following expenses:

  • Engage Susan Warner, the artist who created the mosaics, to fix all tile work and make it more secure and protected. This will likely involve replacing the seat of the "couch" with a more permanent and long-lasting material.
  • Resurface all of Marcia MacEachron’s metalwork. This requires removing all the blue-painted metalwork, transporting it for sandblasting, adding silicone to joints to protect it from future rust, repainting and reinstalling.
  • Hire Susan Warner for an artist-led residency at Marcy Open School to give today's students the chance to develop new tile designs.
  • Add an interpretative sign and a new mosaic structure that tells the story of Elwell park and its importance to our community. Designed with community input, the new mosaic structure may be an arbor, it may be a kiosk...and it will hold a specially made sign that tell's the park's story.
  • Replant the garden. An opportunity for neighbors to come together to reimagine and replant! We've budgeted for some new plantings and know our local green thumbs will also contribute. Our budget also includes signs to help ensure the gardens are identified and protected from mowing.
  • Launch a community celebration to christen the park for the next generation! We can't wait to party in the park and we've budgeted for artists and performers, food and beverage, and whatever else the community decides would be a way fitting to toast our Turtle!

*Note: Repair and/or replacement of park play equipment falls under the Minneapolis Park Board's purview and is not—and cannot—be included in the neighborhood public art restoration.

*Give now and Marcy-Holmes neighbors Craig Harris and Candy Keuhn will match your contribution dollar-for-dollar, up to $5,000.

All told, we need close to $45,000 to restore Elwell Park. The Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association has already contributed funds and we're seeking grant support and sponsorship from local businesses, but the most important support Elwell Park can receive is from you. We'd like to raise $10,000 of our total budget through individual donations.

Help us revive, restore and re-energize this community asset for all to enjoy. 

Here's how you can help:

  1. Give generously today.
  2. Ask your neighbors to give.
  3. And if you know of a local business that would like to sign on as a sponsor, contact [email protected]

Gifts of $500 or more will be recognized permanently on site. ALL gifts will be recognized in our MHNA Annual Report and at the community event.

 

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