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City Opens Community Foundation Park in Downtown Huntsville

Published on May 6, 2021

Mayor Battle, donors, and city leaders gather in front of a donor wall at the new Community Foundation park to cut a large blue ribbon and officially open the park

The City of Huntsville added another beautiful park to its inventory of urban spaces today following a dedication and ribbon cutting for Community Foundation Park.

Anchoring the intersection of Dr. Joseph Lowery Boulevard and Pelham Avenue along downtown’s gateway entrance, the new park is a collaboration between the City of Huntsville, Arts Huntsville, and Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville.

A centerpiece of the urban plaza is a public art installation designed by David Dahlquist and Matt Niebuhr of RDG Dahlquist Art Studio. They were among the more than 280 global artists who competed for the honor. The Huntsville Public Art Committee, working under the guidelines established by the Huntsville Public Art Master Plan, completed an extensive community review process to select three project finalists before ultimately awarding the project to the Iowa-based firm.

“Any time we can merge beauty, public spaces, art and philanthropy into one setting, we’ve got another win for our community,” said Mayor Tommy Battle. “This urban respite will provide another gathering space for residents and visitors alike.”

The public art installation, titled “Travelers,” is one of three downtown pieces designed by RDG Dahlquist as part of a public-private partnership. The effort is supported by the City of Huntsville, RCP Companies, Redstone Federal Credit Union and the Community Foundation.

Two additional “Travelers” pieces will be installed in the downtown area over the next 10 months. The full installation is inspired by Huntsville’s history and celebrates the city’s future trajectory.

“The ‘Travelers’ public art installation at the heart of the park serves as a beacon and a marker for all visitors,” said Allison Dillon-Jauken, Arts Huntsville Executive Director. “This new park and art installation also celebrate the public-private partnerships that are helping to grow Huntsville’s public art program as we work to incorporate public art across the Huntsville community.”

The partnership and philanthropy required to accomplish this project led the City to recognize the role the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville plays in connecting donors with civic ventures. The City Council voted to honor the organization by giving the park its name.

“We are thrilled to honor the legacies of local philanthropists whose charitable visions will now be memorialized within the walls of this beautiful park,” said Melissa Thompson, Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville CEO. “It is with special gratitude that we thank Bob and Phylis Baron, whose donation supported the featured art installation, and Joe and Pam Alexander, Community Foundation founding benefactors and patrons of the donor recognition wall. Together, these pieces celebrate the spirit of generosity that is pioneering a bright future for all who call Huntsville home.”

The donor recognition wall in the park will recognize those individuals and companies who have given at least $250,000 to or through the Community Foundation during their lifetimes, with a special distinction for philanthropic relationships at the $1 million level and above.

City of Huntsville’s General Services department managed the project along with Landscape Management and Parks & Recreation. Design was provided by Schoel Engineering and the contractor was Robins and Morton.