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"Community Connection" to feature George Morrison-inspired arbor

A “community connection” in the unused space between the Grand Marais Recreation Park and North House Folk School has been in the works for many years. Community feedback during the Recreation Park’s 2013 master plan process raised the idea of an entryway of sorts to the campground, marina, waterfront area. That community connection may be coming to fruition as the Highway 61 road construction gets underway. And it may include a unique piece of public art in recognition of the late George Morrison.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence sat down with two of the people that have been involved in this planning process, Dave Tersteeg, Grand Marais Parks and Recreation Manager, and Mary Somnis, executive director Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority.

Somnis is also a member of the Creative Economy Collaborative (CEC), which has been tasked by the City of Grand Marais to advise on public art projects.

This project has received support from George Morrison’s family—musician Briand Morrison and his mother, artist Hazel Belvo.

There have also been numerous letters of support from community businesses, organizations and individuals, such as the Cook County Historical Society and the Grand Marais Art Colony and more.  

The price of the project is not yet known, as it will include excavation and landscaping, a stone retaining wall and steps, as well as the Morrison-inspired arbor. The price will not be known until bids have been let, but some funding has already been secured.

The CEC, through the Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority, has received a $50,000 streetscape improvement grant from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB). The remainder of the funding will come from the city’s Parks Department, which has money earmarked for this project.

Here’s more on the project.

Click on photo to see slideshow with more architectural drawings of the proposed arbor.