MORRIS PARK, BRONX, N.Y. – State Senator Jeffrey D. Klein, (D-Bronx/ Westchester), was joined by community leaders and educators in the Morris Park community today to announce an exciting new beautification initiative that will transform blighted railroad bridge abutments into an entryway into the community.
The initiative will launch as a call for students to submit artwork through local schools before January 6th 2011. Students will be asked to submit their artwork with a short paragraph describing their vision for the bridge abutments at the intersection of Bronxdale and East Tremont Avenues. Senator Klein and a panel of distinguished community, educational and artistic leaders will select four winning entries that will be recreated on the overpass walls during the spring.
“Together, we're going to replace this eyesore with a source of community pride,” Senator Klein said. “I can't think of a better way to show the creativity and vibrancy of the Morris Park community than to have this entryway decorated by our youth.”
For years, this area has at has been a hotspot for graffiti vandalism, sending a poor message to those entering the Morris Park community.
Recently, Senator Klein's office contacted Amtrak, which owns the overpass. The rail line agreed to allow the wall abutments to be cleaned by Senator Klein's graffiti removal program and decorated with the winning murals.
"Amtrak is happy to assist local communities remove the blight of graffiti from their neighborhoods and is pleased to cooperate with this effort to paint over our bridge abutments." said Peter Cohen of Amtrak Government Affairs, New York
“I think it will bring tremendous pride to Morris Park residents to have this visual welcoming them into our community.” said Al D’Angelo of the Morris Park Community Association.
“It will be a great project to get children involved in, it will also provide an opportunity for them to learn more about the community.” said Robert Ruggiero of the Morris Park Merchant Alliance
"The Bronx Council on the Arts is proud to help Senator Klein's office with this beautification project. As the arts and culture agency of the Bronx we value his partnership in engaging artists and the public to improve the quality of life for the borough. The arts are a major tool and resource that helps to make that happen." Said Deirdre Scott, Executive Director of the Bronx Council of the Arts.”
Posters can be submitted to participating schools or to Senator Jeff Klein’s District Office at 1250 Waters Place, Suite 1202, Bronx, NY, 10461.