Published on: Tuesday, February 2, 2021 Arts & Humanities

B.Y. Morrison Park Transformed Into Kid-Friendly Space

Kids and kids at heart should visit B.Y. Morrison Park to play games, eat lunch, or share their creativity on a new chalkboard mural.

A new public art project organized by the City of Takoma Park’s Arts and Humanities Division has enlivened the underused park at the Takoma Junction at the corner of Carroll Avenue and Ethan Allan Avenue. The pavilion features a new chalkboard mural outlined by colorful flowers that was painted by artist Chris Pyrate. Chalk and erasers are available in mailboxes next to the mural.

Pyrate said his design was inspired by the need to get children outside for exercise and social interaction during the coronavirus pandemic. “It’s been difficult for kids because many of them are stuck at home staring at computer screens all day for online learning,” he said. “Play is important for children. I wanted the mural to be interactive so kids could draw and write to express themselves, and they can meet other kids outside.”

City of Takoma Park employees painted colorful stencils on the concrete in the park, including a giant hopscotch robot, balloons to jump on, and animal tracks to follow. The picnic tables in the park also have been painted with colorful designs to encourage people to eat or relax there.

Public art is an important source of inspiration, creativity, and solace during difficult times, especially during this ongoing pandemic, Arts and Humanities Division Coordinator Brendan Smith said.

“We all need to get outdoors and take a break during the day, especially kids,” Smith said. “Anyone who wants to have some fun or just relax should visit the park. People should wear masks and practice social distancing as long as those restrictions are in place.”