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$51K grant will allow YMCA to transform sidewalks with art

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 July 2019 at 1:49 pm

Y also has received Wilson Foundation grants for Canal Club, Girl Strong programs

File photo by Tom Rivers: The Orleans County YMCA is in the former Medina Armory on Pearl Street.

MEDINA – The Orleans County YMCA has been approved for a $51,000 grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation to transform the sidewalks by the Y with art.

The funding was announced on Wednesday by KaBOOM! and the Built to Play initiative, which are supported by the Wilson Foundation. The Play Everywhere Challenge awarded a total of $1 million for 22 projects across Western New York and Southeast Michigan.

The Y will hire artists to create 3-dimensional looking designs on the sidewalks with a military theme. Greg Reed, the Y director, would like to see designs to resemble obstacle courses at a boot camp, which could include a balance beam, tire run and pit jump.

There will be a public meeting on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. for the community to provide input on the sidewalk art.

Reed said about 30 children wait on the Y sidewalks for the school bus during the school year. The sidewalk art will give them and other in the community engaging designs for an obstacle course.

Some of the designs could also include hopscotch and other games.

He would also like some artwork on the crosswalks by the Y. He will be reaching out the village for a permit for the project, which he hopes will be completed in the fall.

Professional artists will create the designs and the community will be part of painting the designs.

This is the latest grant from the Wilson Foundation for the Y. The organization received a $25,000 grant to establish the Canal Club for year-round programming with the canal. That started with a kayaking program this summer that already includes two classes. The Y will also run a biking program in the spring and fall, and snowshoeing in the winter. The grant paid for equipment for those programs.

Last year, the foundation approved $20,000 annually over four years for a “Girls Strong” program with a focus on character development, strength training and nutrition.

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