The Positive Change Memorial Courtyard was an inspiration of a group of students at South Eugene High School to turn the tragic loss of several class mates into a lasting creative endeavor that the whole community could participate in and enjoy. The courtyard installation will be a permanent interactive art space with a 50 foot long mural project designed by a former South student and internationally recognized mural artist, a meditative labrynth designed by the students, statues and aromatic planting designed to awaken the spirit of all who visit. The complexity of the project invites multiple opportunities to maintain and deepen the strong community connections that were begun at that time of the accident. The Positive Change club began in Sept 2011 redesigning the central courtyard on the South Eugene campus which had not been used by students for decades with the help of a local civic designer.
In addition, the project offers students a hands on opportunity to witness how positive intentions and dedicated follow through in the form of regular work parties re-invents the world they live in. The regular work parties in the space have also created an accessible and meaningful vehicle for many community members to engage with and support the students at South Eugene. In addition, earlier fundraising efforts to move the courtyard project forward has brought positive energy to the students and the community at large. We have accomplished the beginning work of the courtyard through the sales of 3000 wristbands to local schools, restaurants, medical clinics and counseling centers that say "You are what you Think" and "think positive".
Our weekly work parties have been successful because our group includes students with a wide range of interests and activities including the football team, National honor society, and student government. The project is always welcoming new members from the school and the community. A local church group that shares the high school facility on weekends has also contributed time, energy and resources to the project.
This creative endeavor of making a beautiful and lasting space to honor the positive energy of friendship and cooperation offers a multitude of lasting lessons for everyone involved and will undoubtedly offer peace and comfort to students for years to come.
Risks and challenges
We have completed all of the removal of old walkways, plantings and weeds during the last year. We accomplished this without much resources thanks to hundreds of hours of volunteer time and free donations of materials and tool rentals from local businesses. It is challenging to keep the kids focused, involved and motivated when progress is slow due to lack of resources. We have hit a wall of what we can accomplish without any more cash. Because we are continuously looking for the resources to complete the project, the actual progress on the creative work gets stalled. Maintaining and keeping a positive focus can be a challenge when we don't see a lot of visible progress towards our primary objective of completing the courtyard project by the end of this year.
We have lined up all of the professionals and materials that we need to complete the project. Many professionals have agreed to offer their services at a reduced rate, but most of the materials we cannot get for free. We have spent a lot of time preparing this kick starter project so we can acquire the resources, materials and professional help we need to complete the project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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