Staunton rallies for the Sears Hill Bridge

The creative spirit of the Downtown Staunton community is driving a playful public engagement strategy around the restoration of the Sears Hill Bridge. The pedestrian bridge, which had linked the Sears Hill neighborhood and Downtown Staunton for more than 100 years, was condemned in January 2010.

Restoration of the bridge will cost about $200,000, and the community is pulling together to make it happen. In a collaborative strategy led by the Staunton Downtown Development Association (SDDA), Friends of the Sears Hill Bridge, and The Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge, residents can lend their talents and give their dollars through a short film competition and an art window installation.

A key element of the public awareness project involved Flying Warthog Films, a micro-enterprise recently funded through the Staunton Creative Community Fund. The team worked with volunteers to produce a short narrative film conceived by SDDA Exeutive Director Julie Markowitz. Watch the film here:

Read more about the effort  in the Augusta Free Press. For more information on the complete project or to donate, visit or join the Facebook Cause here.