In honor of South Bend’s 150th birthday, students from the Crossing Educational Center have teamed up with Leadership South Bend/Mishawaka, Union Station Technology Center and the Kroc Center to beautify a 1 square mile area south of downtown known as the Renaissance District.
The Renaissance District is the community on the southern edge of downtown South Bend that integrates our City’s history of innovation into our social fabric and provides collective opportunities to renew our region.
The effort is ambitious and begins with a goal of planting 150 trees, many of them native, fruit bearing varieties that will provide food and habitat for birds and wildlife. All 27 fire hydrants in the district will be freshly painted along with the crosswalk at Lafayette and South St.
Custom sidewalk art designed by mural artist Chris Stackowicz will be added at key points in the district using a biodegradable, non-toxic product that is only visible when it rains. Curious to see what this unique product can do? Check out http://rain.works/ to see examples of rain-activated art and messages first used in Seattle by artist Peregrine Church. In partnership with the City of South Bend, a district-wide trash pick-up will leave this corner of South Bend looking clean and well-cared for.
Finally, a few lucky volunteers will prepare reclaimed Studebaker wood flooring for use by Crossing students.
The Earth Day event is the launch of a two-year partnership between the Crossing Educational Center, Union Station Technology Center, and South Bend Warehousing and Distribution to provide students with trade-skill work opportunities in the District. Landscape and streetscape improvements completed on Earth Day will be maintained by Crossing students who will work as ambassadors and caretakers of the district while gaining valuable skills and work experience before advancing to full-time employment or a college degree.
Union Station Technology Center is the lead sponsor of the event, and other Earth Day partners include Leadership South Bend/Mishawaka, Kroc Center, University of Notre Dame Office of Sustainability, South Bend Cubs, United Federal Credit Union, Autumn Acre Garden and Landscaping, City of South Bend, General Vascular Surgery, South Bend Warehousing and Distribution and over 25 other businesses.
We invite community members to join the effort. The first 200 volunteers to sign up will receive a commemorative t-shirt and day pass from the Kroc Center. Go to http://bit.ly/EarthDayCleanup2015 to sign up, morning and afternoon shifts are available.
Contact: Quentin Bishop
DATE/TIME: Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Volunteers can meet in the parking lot at the SE corner of Lafayette and South Street in South Bend. Work will be performed around historic Studebaker properties and surrounding Renaissance District (borders of Chapin St. to S. Michigan St. and Western Ave. to Sample St.)