Clearwater mural artist Beth Warmath created a sea turtle themed crosswalk as part of the Pop-Up North Marina project.
CLEARWATER – The skies may have been overcast, but for those who took part in a community festival Jan. 28 at the corner of Fort Harrison Avenue and Seminole Street, nothing could dampen their excitement over a job well done.
The festival was the culmination of the city of Clearwater’s efforts to engage the community in efforts to improve the downtown experience for both residents and tourists.
The final event of the Pop-Up North Marina: A Community Streets Experiment and Festival project came exactly one week following a day’s hard work on Jan. 21 when more than 30 residents volunteered their time and effort to help revitalize the neighborhood.
Among that day’s activities was the creation of temporary and permanent street enhancements, such as sidewalk extensions, crosswalk enhancements and the installation of planters and benches along Fort Harrison Avenue.
Saturday’s festival was the city’s opportunity to say thanks to those who came out to work and to remind residents of its renewed efforts to make all of Clearwater “Bright and Beautiful.”
Clearwater Neighborhood Coordinator Lawrence Young organized the three-week effort and said he was overwhelmed by the community response.
“It’s been very exciting, very exhilarating, for being my very first project for the community,” Young said. “The community is the focus so I’m happy with how everything has turned out.”
Clearwater Planning and Development Director Michael Delk said he has high hopes for the future of the neighborhood.
“This neighborhood is a real jewel,” Delk said. “And we just need to polish it up a little bit. I’m very optimistic.”
Resident Michelle Lowell said she was happy to see more activities in her neighborhood.
“This is so cute,” Lowell said. “My kids don’t get out much, so this is great. They love it here.”
Clearwater artist Beth Warmath, who created the crosswalk mural for the project, said she is excited to see the community come together.
“This is my community and it’s really exciting to be a part of my own area,” Warmath said. “I love doing community projects and things with kids, anything that has anything to do with art – that’s just amazing.”
Warmath said she thinks involving residents in efforts to make their communities shine is the key to success.
“I know it will be successful,” she said. “When the community works together, then you can get a lot of things done.”
Logan Mosby is editor of the Clearwater Beacon. She can be reached at lmosby@ TBNweekly.com or by calling 727-397-5563, ext. 304.