Mayor dedicates first sculpture and plantings on South Bethlehem Greenway
Bethlehem, Pa. (Sept. 28, 2011) – Mayor John Callahan today joined sculptor Virginia Abbott, Lehigh
University President Alice Gast and representatives of ArtsQuest and Community Action Development
Corp. of Bethlehem to dedicate the first sculpture and native plantings installed on the South Bethlehem
Greenway at Taylor and Webster streets.
Southside Vision 2014, a program administered by CADCB, funded the art piece with a $15,000 grant
and the plantings with a $7,000 grant. The grant allowed CADCB to hire a professional to oversee
Southside community gardens, start a native plant garden and film a documentary.
Gast presented Lehigh’s commitment to the Greenway projected by pledging $75,000 a year for the next
three years toward improvements at the trail. The university will fund a grade crossing at New Street
and a camera at the intersection of Adams Street and the Greenway. Lehigh’s pledge will also allow for
work between Adams and Webster streets designed to open the Greenway to buildings in the corridor,
including the Boys & Girls Club of Bethlehem and Holy Infancy School. Project design is expected to
begin in the fall.
Abbott, a resident artist at the Banana Factory, enlisted a team of Broughal Middle School students
through ArtsQuest’s Banana Works program to create “Blue Herons.” The sculpture is made from found
objects including gardening tools and kitchen implements, and clay animals made by the students.
Lehigh’s Southside Initiative oversaw the native plantings, which include grasses and perennials.
“It is very encouraging to see so many organizations in the City come together to support the
Greenway,” Callahan said. “Lehigh’s commitment will help ensure the growth of the Greenway in the
South Bethlehem Greenway is a 3.5-mile trail on a former railroad bed between Third and Fourth
streets. Phases 1 and 2 opened in August.