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PAR Projects creating garden along Mill Creek Trail

A new sculpture park and edible garden is being constructed along Mill Creek Trail in Northside, at the intersection of William P. Dooley Bypass and Ludlow Avenue. The garden is a partnership between PAR Projects and Groundwork Cincinnati/Mill Creek, and it recently received a $25,000 grant from the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Scotts Miracle-Gro Company.
 
The acre of land is being developed in an effort to help beautify the Mill Creek Trail. It is an ongoing project, which began last October, and the next stage is to be completed in the spring, says Jonathan Sears, Executive Director of PAR Projects.
 
The garden, which used to be a parking lot, will include a number of sculptures, four of which are already installed. One is an abstract interpretation of a fishing bobber in the water by Ben Lock from Bowling Green. The second is a 16-foot ear of corn buried in a field, which represents PAR’s cornfield project, by Sean Mullany from Cincinnati. The third sculpture is an abstract tree with a bird on one of the branches by local artist Kate Demske. The fourth, by Meg Mitchell of Madison, Wisc., is a geodesic dome that is about 75 percent complete—the vegetation still needs to be planted inside.
 
PAR is currently looking at an artist from Kansas City to complete the fifth piece, which they envision to be whimsical. The sculptures will rotate on a two-year basis.
 
“The idea is to not try to cram sculptures into the garden, but create a feel-good space,” Sears says. “The sculptures will rotate much like the plants and the colors do from season to season.”
 
The garden will also have edible fruits and vegetables, which will rotate in and out as the weather and seasons permit. Sears says he spoke to a couple who said they’ve used some of the garden’s corn in their meals recently.
 
“We see the garden as a way to liven up Northside on a micro level rather than on the macro level,” Sears says. “We hope to also get the conversation going about public sculpture, as well as provide a pleasant area for trail walkers.”
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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