BAY VILLAGE, Ohio — All this week, students from Incarnate Word Academy in Parma Heights have been painting a mural at the Huntington Beach tunnel in Bay Village.
Cleveland Metroparks Chief Marketing Officer Kelly Manderfield says it's one of many projects taking place around the parks system.
"We're continuing to focus on the parks, adding beautification," she told 3News. "We've got students, fifth through eighth, applying what they've learned during the school year."
The students are using the science, technology, engineering, art, and math skills—also known as STEAM concepts—to complete the project. They are being guided by local artist Bernadette Glorioso, who helped them design the mural.
"They gathered community feedback about what are some of the beloved landmarks and activities and attractions that parkgoers enjoy down here at hunting reservation," Manderfield explained.
After dozens of sketches, the students and Bernadette settled on a final design that incorporates the beloved Cottonwood tree that once stood in the park. The painting also depicts kayakers and beach goers, as well as native wildlife.
"We’ve already seen the positive impact its had on the people walking by," Glorioso said. "It's been incredible. Cheering, taking pictures while we're working, it's great."
The tunnel connects Huntington Reservation to Huntington Beach under Lake Avenue. Glorioso hopes the design choices will serve as a mood boost for parkgoers.
"The colors that were chosen were specific to making people feel calm and relaxed when they walk through," she added "The scale ... also [makes you] feel like you're a part of the environment."
The project was sponsored by Cross Country Mortgage and is the first of many art installations to be featured throughout the Metroparks. Manderfield says the project gives these local students an opportunity to connect with all the park has to offer.
"These students from Incarnate Word Academy in Parma Heights are making a lasting impression," she said, "celebrating what the community loves most about this reservation."