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Jan. 16, 2021
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Public art graces Highlands to Islands Trail

By Pamela A. Keene 
 
Eventually comprising more than three dozen miles of multiuse trails that will connect cities and towns in Hall County, the Highlands to Islands Trail will also showcase numerous pieces of public art. As part of Gainesville-Hall County’s Vision 2030 and the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, some of the trail system’s public art installations are already in place. 
 
“Our public art program will be an ongoing initiative that encompasses not only the Highlands to Islands Trail but other key locations around the county,” said Tina Carlson, who serves on the public art committee. “Installations already include murals, sculptures, bike racks and Free Range Art.”
 
Most recently, new public art has been installed along the Chicopee Woods section of the trail. Located near the Chicopee Woods Golf Course and Chicopee Mills, this section of the trail winds through hardwoods and past the Elachee Nature Science Center. It includes bike trails along wider sidewalks.
 
This fall, students in the welding class at North Hall High School created trees and branches that have become bottle trees at the entrance to Elachee. They have been decorated with leaves made of green, blue and brown bottles collected by employees of Hall County’s Resource Recovery Division. 
 
Additionally, a new mural called “Love Freedom Mural,” created by Gainesville native Chad Shore, was unveiled in November. The spray-painted artwork is located at 870 Grove Street on the back of McGarity’s Business Products, in the Midland section of the trail. The mural was a collaboration of the City of Gainesville, Gainesville Parks and Rec and Vision 2030. 
 
“Since Vision 2030 began, the community has fully embraced the project,” Carlson said. “Already more than $1.1 million has been invested in public/private collaborations.”
 
For more about Vision 2030, visit www.vision2030.org. To learn more about the Highlands to Islands Trail, click on www.highlandstoislands.org.

Posted online 12.28.20
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