New monsters coming to a park near youThree new monsters will soon be inhabiting New Richmond’s parks, but parents really don’t have to be concerned about the safety of their kids.
By: By Jeff Holmquist, New Richmond News
Three new monsters will soon be inhabiting New Richmond’s parks, but parents really don’t have to be concerned about the safety of their kids.
Messes & Masterpieces of New Richmond is coordinating a garden monster project in Mary Park, Glover Park and Paperjack Creek Parkway in the coming weeks.
A non-profit educational organization that conducts creative classes for children and adults incorporating art, science and recycle materials, Messes & Masterpieces and its Director Christine Melby received a grant from the St. Croix Valley Master Gardeners to help make the monsters possible. The organization is also seeking local sponsors to help support the project.
According to Melby, she happened upon a story in “Highlights” magazine several years ago about mounds of dirt that were transformed into the shape of monsters somewhere in England.
“I put it in my file of things I’d like Messes & Masterpieces to do as a community art project,” she said.
The non-profit’s board of directors recently suggested that the monster idea be part of the May 18 Service Learning Day event involving New Richmond High School students. The plans for the project have been coming together nicely ever since.
“This is a huge project for us,” Melby said. “We are very excited to be working with so many people in the community to make it happen.”
Melby said 15 to 20 students will be at each monster site on May 18. With the help of adult volunteers and a few master gardeners, the three mounds of soil will be transformed into a living sculpture.
Vegetation will be planted on the soil mounds, creating the illusion of fur, hair and the like.
“The plants will fill in over time and cover the monsters,” Melby explained.
From June 12-14, Messes & Masterpieces will offer a summer class for children ages 6-14 to help “bring the monsters to life,” Melby said.
Class participants will use recycled materials (pottery, tiles, etc.) to create the illusion of eyes, noses, ears and more. Youngsters interested in participating in the class can register at www.messesandmasterpieces.com.
Messes & Masterpieces has been working with Parks and Recreation Director Joe Kerlin on finding sites for the monsters.
“Both Scott Vrieze at the library and Irv Sather at the Heritage Center are excited about the monsters going in near their locations,” she said.
Once the monsters are fully established, Melby said she hopes the creations will eventually be tied into the city’s trail system and be promoted as a community asset in the future.
“We believe these monsters will bring visual playfulness to the spaces and add long-term value to the community through their tourist attraction potential,” she said.
Any individual or business wishing to support the monster project is asked to contact Melby at 651-308-2938 or email her at christine@messesandmaste rpieces.com.
Sponsor names will be engraved on a steppingstone made of cement and set in the ground next to each permanent monster.
Anyone wishing to volunteer during Service Learning Day can also call Melby and she will make assignments for the day.
If the community’s support for the first three monsters goes well, Melby said she hopes that even more monsters will be added to other local parks in the future.