Railyard Stewards Receive $20,000 Grant

Congratulations to the Railyard Stewards for this grant to help them with 2011 programs.  Beneficial Farms CSA worked with the Railyard this year to provide a demonstration garden in their Waffle Garden space.

The Railyard Stewards is a grassroots, volunteer-based organization that provides community stewardship and advocacy for the care and programming of the Railyard Park and Plaza. The vision is to support a vibrant, beautiful, popular and safe community-gathering place representing the history, values and aspirations of the people of Santa Fe.

RAILYARD STEWARDS RECEIVE $20,000 GRANT FROM NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS FOR DESIGN STEWARDSHIP AT RAILYARD PARK AND PLAZA

GRANT TO FUND WORKSHOPS, TOURS AND OTHER EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES FOR YOUTH

SEPTEMBER 21, 2010- The Railyard Stewards, the volunteer-based stewardship group for the Santa Fe Railyard Park and Plaza, have received a $20,000 matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for design stewardship. The funding—which is required to be matched dollar-for-dollar through non-federal funds by May 2010 – will be used to provide area youth with workshops, tours and other outdoor education activities related to the cutting-edge design of the park and plaza.

The Railyard Stewards is a program of The Trust for Public Land, the national land conservation organization that oversaw the design, planning and fundraising for the $14 million city of Santa Fe-owned park and plaza, which opened in the fall of 2008. Since then, the Railyard Stewards have worked in partnership with the city to provide volunteer maintenance assistance at the 12.5-acre park and plaza. The Stewards also have established a vibrant year round schedule of free on-site educational activities and programs for all ages.

Many programs are geared to youth and are organized in partnership with such organizations as the Santa Fe Public Schools, School for the Deaf, Youthworks, Earthcare International, Girls Inc, Boys & Girls Club, and Santa Fe Mountain Center, Santa Fe Prep, and Santa Fe Secondary School.

“We are thrilled and honored to have the NEA recognize our project for its grassroots efforts in providing care, conservation and education at the Railyard Park and Plaza,” said Eliza Kretzmann, Railyard Stewards executive director. “One of our major goals is to encourage area residents to actively participate in activities at the park and plaza. This grant also encourages participation through on-site activities as well as through public donations to help support the continued work of the Stewards. The community’s donations will go a long way.”

The NEA provides funding to “support artistic excellence, preserve our cultural heritage, and provide access to the arts for all Americans.” In granting the award, the NEA cited the valuable role of design and its preservation in the daily life of communities such as Santa Fe, noting, “Unlike many arts, design surrounds us and its quality has a direct impact on the quality of our lives…The National Endowment for the Arts recognizes design’s ever-present role by funding activities across the design disciplines that encourage, preserve, and disseminate the best in American and global design.”

The Railyard Park and Plaza were designed by the New York-based team of landscape architect Ken Smith, architect Frederic Schwartz and public artist Mary Miss, who were selected to design the project as part of the largest community design project in Santa Fe history.

Landscape architect Ken Smith described the park and plaza as “one of the best community-oriented design projects that I have worked on that has taken a marginal area of town and redeveloped it into a vibrant new neighborhood with street life and activity.”

The NEA matching grant is the latest of a series of awards and other recognition for the Railyard Park and Plaza in recent months, including:

  • Landscape Architecture magazine featured the Railyard Park as the cover article in its July issue, calling it “arguably the most significant park built in Santa Fe since the Spanish governor Don Pedro de Peralta established the historic Plaza at the center of the city in 1610.” AuthorAlex Ulam wrote that the park “challenges Santa Fe residents and visitors to look at the city’s history and its environment in new ways… History is not gussied up here; artifacts from the past are showcased, but the design is firmly grounded in a contemporary idiom of landscape architecture.”
  • Heritage Preservation Award in the category of Community Preservation Planning from the Cultural Properties Review Committee, spring 2010.
  • Best Building Award, Associated General Contractors, New Mexico branch
  • Placemaking Award, American Institute of Architects, Boston Society of Architects branch
  • “Best of Santa Fe” for public outdoor spaces, second place, Santa Fe Reporter, 2009 and 2010

Donations are being sought to help the Railyard Stewards raise non-federal funds by May 2010.

Please send donations to:

The Railyard Stewards

1600 Lena Street

Santa Fe, NM 87505.

For more information:

CONTACT: Eliza Kretzmann, Railyard Stewards Executive Director,

505 982-6975 (office), 505 310-3694 (cell) info@railyardpark.org

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