In 2020, the restrictions surrounding COVID-19 shifted community priorities and spurred innovation in creating space for communities to gather more safely. In 2020 the Town of Pulaski followed in this direction and was awarded a Community Development Block Grant to create a “pocket park” between 47 and 57 West Main Street. The park was built in an unused lot where a decade prior, a building collapsed in the community’s downtown commercial district.
Named “Count’s Crossing” through an online community contest, the park is a small but inviting space with picnic tables, café lights, and attractive landscaping. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in October 2020 but the event marked just the start of the park’s potential. In 2021, Pulaski’s Main Street program, Pulaski on Main, was awarded a Community Vitality Grant by Virginia Main Street to install a mural to help sustain the small park’s momentum and work toward the community’s broader beautification goals.
In the early phases of this project, Pulaski on Main partnered with New River Community College and was initially intending to contract a few of the college’s art students to design and paint the mural. Instead, the students took on a leadership role and put the creation of the mural into the hands of the community.
In November of 2021, community members of all ages came together for a weekend event of painting. Guided by the students from New River Community College, the community-made an autumn scene come to life with forest animals (and other surprises) scattered in between trees and falling leaves. The end product resulted in a mural that celebrates the woodlands surrounding Pulaski and has brought an added aesthetic to the downtown district.
Photo Credit: Pulaski on Main Facebook Page