Manchester Main Street (MMS) is hosting a “Riverfront” Park opening ceremony on Sept. 11, at 5:30 p.m., to celebrate this truly collaborative community effort and wonderful addition to North Manchester. The event is open to the public and is chance to meet the talented artists who helped make the park a reality.
“This project is a showcase of what can be accomplished utilizing local assets and resources,” said Renata Robinson, MMS Executive Director. The project team included Claypool residents Leesa Metzger (landscaping) and Eliot Irwin (sculpture), South Whitley’s Kim Slater (concrete), North Manchester businesses Riverbridge Electric and Snep Sign Company, and community member Allan White (historical signage text).
Located at the intersection of Main and Wayne Streets at the eastern edge of town, this is one of the only publicly owned riverfront properties in North Manchester. When the old Water Plant was removed in 2011, Manchester Main Street requested Town Council permission to develop the land. Project expenses were covered by grants from the Community Foundation of Wabash County and Indiana Office of Tourism Development, with additional funding from Manchester University and Manchester Main Street.
The park’s site-specific sculpture, landscaping and educational signage pays tribute to the Eel River and serves as a downtown gateway landmark. Irwin titled his unique curved and twisting sculpture "River Walking” to suggest that maybe it is the river that is walking: “’Walking’ brings to mind the element of time not being rushed. The town will change, things come and go and people grow up, grow old and perish, but the river keeps on walking, walking through its geology and through eternity.”
The “Riverfront” Park will also be a featured “sight” along the Oct. 5 Harvest Festival hayride route, sponsored by MMS, North Manchester Parks & Recreation, and Metzger Landscaping & Design. To support Manchester Main Street’s town improvement efforts by becoming a member, visit MMS’ website to download a 2013 Membership Form. For additional information and ways you can become involved, contact Renata Robinson, MMS Executive Director, at 260-901-6045 or firstname.lastname@example.org.