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Update uptown

Chalk, clean and walk your way to a friendlier, healthier Creston

This mock up by David Marroquín of Common Ground shows an example of urban placemaking. Update Uptown invites the public to help chalk ideas such as this Wednesday on Maple Street.
This mock up by David Marroquín of Common Ground shows an example of urban placemaking. Update Uptown invites the public to help chalk ideas such as this Wednesday on Maple Street.

Uptown Creston is preparing for the Fourth of July/Sesquicentennial and the public is invited to help 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday.

The Union County Development Association and Healthy Hometown powered by Wellmark are hosting a series of events Wednesday to clean up and spruce up Uptown Creston.

9 a.m. — Chalk the walk

Meet at Create Creston to participate in chalking new and creative ideas for placemaking. Just as the chalked quilt square at the intersection of Adams and Maple streets last year gave residents and visitors a vision of what a permanant street mural would look like, these chalk drawings will help them envision ways to make uptown more pedestrian friendly. Chalked bumpouts, planters, trees, and a bike lane will be among the drawings the public is asked to help create.

These chalk creations may not last long, but they are designed that way. Blake Fry-Schnormeier compares it to mandala salt paintings, which are destroyed upon completion.

“It’s about living in the moment,” Fry-Schnormeier said.

Traveling musicians will be on hand to add performance art to this expression of visual art. Brian Zachery said he has also traded a chalk mural to A&G to provide pizza for the chalkers. He said the chalking will pause for an hour at 10 a.m. to allow participants to help with the cleanup. Cleanup workers are invited for the pizza as well.

10 a.m. — Uptown cleanup

Jeremy Rounds asks residents to “show some care and compassion for our community” by showing up at the depot or Create Creston to walk the uptown district picking up trash from the streets, alleys and parking lots. Gloves, trash bags and water will be provided. Participants can bring their own brooms and dustpans, if they wish.

11 a.m. — Historical walking tour

Envision a future for uptown by learning about its past. A guided walking tour will start at the Creston Restored Depot and wind its way through Uptown Creston focusing on the historic buildings.

An interactive kiosk will also be on site to gather information on what people would like to see in Uptown Creston. Residents and visitors are asked to fill out a survey, which Jesse Bolinger will compile and share with the Southern Iowa Council of Governments to be used in the long-term planning for Creston.

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