North Olmsted is seeking an artist or a team of artists to create public art for the Butternut Ridge Pocket Park, which is being planned for a quarter-acre, triangle-shaped property on Butternut Ridge Road by the Canterbury Road intersection with Interstate 480.

This is North Olmsted’s first city-sponsored public art project, said Planning and Development Director Kim Lieber.

“We envision art that is a sculpture, but we are flexible,” Lieber said. “The art could also be designed to serve a functional purpose, such as a park bench, pergola or bike rack.”

The city has a tentative budget of $10,000 for the art. It expects to spend $75,000 to develop the park, which includes having historical signage, lighting, art, landscaping and seating but no playground equipment. The lighting costs have added to the original estimate, Lieber said.

City officials will accept proposals for the art until Friday. For more information go to https://north-olmsted.com

The small piece of land was once part of a larger tract that was divided by the construction of Interstate 480. City Council accepted the deed for the property from the Kiwanis in May 2019.

Pocket parks, also called mini-parks, can be created on single lots or irregularly shaped remnants of land. City officials told Kiwanis Club leadership about pocket parks in late 2019, which sparked conversations that led to the land donation, Lieber said.

North Olmsted recently submitted an application to Cuyahoga County seeking up to $50,000 for construction of the park, Lieber said. The city would cover the cost of the public art project and remaining park costs.

North Olmsted will award one contract for the public artwork, she said.

“While some projects are grand in scale, other improvements may be small in size but have a large community impact,” Lieber said. “The Butternut Ridge Pocket Park is one such small but mighty potential project.”

Besides adding public space, the park will increase awareness of the historic district neighborhood, beautify the community and demonstrate pride in the city, Lieber said.

“It will be a great place for bicyclists and walkers to stop and take a rest,” said Ward 3 Councilman and Butternut Ridge Road resident Paul Schumann. “Other people will want to come just to enjoy it. The art will be something people can enjoy while they are there and could help draw people.”

Contact this reporter at assoceditor@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797.

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