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This article was published 29/5/2015 (2154 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Northeast Pioneers Greenway will soon be home to an intergenerational artwork project thanks to the work of dozens of students and community members.
The project, titled "Life Journey," is being spearheaded by the Kildonan East Collegiate Girls’ Club, and will feature a series of sculptural elements which depict the stages of growth and transformation a monarch butterfly experiences during its dramatic life cycle.
With guidance from KEC art teachers Angel Audrey and Deanna Michaleski and local visual artist Denise Préfontaine, the KEC Girls’ Club came up with the idea.
Over the past couple weeks, the KEC Girls’ Club sat down with students from Hampstead School (920 Hampstead Ave.) and Valley Gardens Middle School (220 Antrim Rd.), and residents of Bethania Mennonite Personal Care Home (1045 Concordia Ave.) to work on scenes depicting the various stages of the monarch’s life. Each group placed coloured tiles that correspond to various elements of the sculpture over the course of two hours.
"We talk the whole time and get to know them," Mary Anderson, a Grade 9 student at KEC, told The Herald during the session with Valley Gardens. "It’s fun."
"It’s about connecting communities," Sigrun Bailey, co-chair of the River East Neighbourhood Network’s trail committee, explained. Bailey added that the trails committee is hoping to see more public art along the Greenway, and that "Life Journey" will be a good start to that end.
"It’s been such a positive experience working with the girls and teachers from the Girls’ Club and with the Northeast Pioneers Greenway trail committee," Préfontaine said. "Everyone in the community has been so supportive of this project and keen to contribute their time and energy, and we’ve had great support from the City of Winnipeg."
Another part of the project will include planting milkweed nearby, Audrey explained. A perennial prairie wildflower, milkweed is the primary food source of monarch larvae. Once the milkweed is established around the statue, Audrey hopes that the space will become a destination for outdoor learning among neighbourhood schools to study natural science first-hand.
"It’s interesting," Bailey said, adding the idea complements the natural native prairie, part of which runs along the Northeast Pioneers Greenway.
While there are still a few pieces of the puzzle to put together, Michaleski said that the group is expecting to unveil the sculpture in September.
"The response has been great," she said.
Audrey added that the KEC Girls’ Club is hosting a community event on Thurs., June 4, and that the group is still looking for some funding to complete the installation.
"We are inviting members of the community to come and take part in the creation of the monarch butterfly and the caterpillar benches," she said.
The open house will take place at Kildonan East Collegiate (845 Concordia Ave.) June 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. in room 218.
The Herald community journalist
Sheldon Birnie is the reporter/photographer for The Herald. The author of Missing Like Teeth: An Oral History of Winnipeg Underground Rock (1990-2001), his writing has appeared in journals and online platforms across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. A husband and father of two young children, Sheldon enjoys playing guitar and rec hockey when he can find the time. Email him at email@example.com Call him at 204-697-7112