The “Gateway Monument” wall is now officially a national award winner! At the Keep America Beautiful conference in January 2015, KEB was awarded a second place beautification trophy for the work completed at the wall.
Work on the wall has been ongoing since the groundbreaking ceremony in October 2013. First, the wall was built and “Welcome to Evansville” was inscribed on the side. In December 2013, thirteen native trees were planted as a “grove” to create a small native tree canopy and increase the aesthetic appeal of the area. In 2014 Bob Zasadny won the sculpture design contest with his design titled”Aerial Beauty”. In September 2014, KEB staff and local volunteers landscaped the wall with native plants. Mike McGarrah, Program Coordinator at KEB and Master Gardener, believes “the need to create a first and lasting positive impression of our community is satisfied through the use of these native trees and other plants in a planned, structured, and aesthetically pleasing landscape”. Now that the landscaping is complete, the next step in the process is the installation of the sculpture. The sculpture is currently being made and will be ready for dedication in 2015.
The award was received last week at the Keep America Beautiful conference in Washington, DC. KEB was nominated for this award for their efforts to beautify a once unsightly corridor to our city. Executive Director, Julie Welch said “By implementing a large welcome wall and sculpture, our goal is to create a ‘sense of place’ for tourist and entrepreneurs coming into Evansville via airport. We share this award with the many sponsors and volunteers who have enabled us to work on this important project for our city.” Staying true to our roots, Keep Evansville beautiful has once again turned a public place into a beautiful space.