Muscatine Magazine Summer 2019

Page 1

Stroll Through Old Muscatine

Pollinator Park

Deep Lakes Park

Trail Extension Map

Page 3

Page 4

Page 9

Page 10

ISSN 2475-7128

July/Aug/Sept 2019

Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Discover Summer!

In this issue Old Muscatine . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Pollinator Park. . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Dog Park. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Deep Lakes Park . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Trail Map. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10




Art Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Art Outdoors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Poets Everywhere. . . . . . . . . 16 On the cover Lake Ivy at Deep Lakes Park is one of the many inviting lakes that are ready for fishing, kayaking, or can simply be enjoyed on a stroll through the park.

Muscatine MAGAZINE

Nutrition, Science, and Technology

Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry 100 W. 2nd St. • Muscatine, Iowa 52761-4027 563-263-8895 Muscatine Magazine is published quarterly by: Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry 100 W. 2nd St. • Muscatine, Iowa 52761-4027 Email: ISSN 2475-7128 Editor: Rebecca Paulsen, GMCCI Creative Director: Mike Shield, Shield Design

Contributors: Rebecca Paulsen, Mike Shield, J & D Stones, Jessica Hubbard, Jen Simmering, Jim Elias, Andrea Grubaugh, Tina Roth, McKenna Shield For advertising info: Contact Rebecca Paulsen at (563) 263-8895 or Muscatine Magazine is a quarterly publication focused on Muscatine, Iowa, and the surrounding area. The publisher reserves the right to refuse and/or edit any materials submitted for publication. Published articles and advertising do not constitute endorsement. ©2019

Editor’s Corner

What’s on your Summer Bucket List? A summer bucket list was a family tradition I started years ago when my children were little. As the temperature steadily increased and the number of remaining school days decreased, my family would create a list of things we wanted to do before the summer ended. As a reward for good behavior all week, we would pick something off the list and do it on what we liked to call “Fun Friday”. It was a great way to encourage good behavior and also give us something to look forward to every week. We knew as the list slowly grew shorter, so did

the remainder of summer break. What started out years ago as a reward system and countdown has now become a wonderful family tradition that has remained as my kids have gotten older. Thanks to the Pearls of Progress Community Attraction and Tourism Grant, there are many new additions to Muscatine outdoor activities. As you flip through this issue of Muscatine Magazine, I hope you find inspiration for things to add and then check off your summer bucket list. Once your summer bucket list is complete, the next question is: Where are you going to start? n

— Rebecca Paulsen, Editor

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Ideas to get you started: Play with your dog Visit the new dog park (p. 8) Enjoy live music on the riverfront and kid friendly activities Stop by Almost Friday Fest (p. 21) Shop downtown Muscatine while enjoying live music and kid friendly activities Second Saturday is the place to be! (p. 20) Read poetry Look for Wandering Words (p. 16) Enjoy a piece of history or old homes Take A Stroll Through Old Muscatine (p. 3) Walk, jog, run, or ride a bike Muscatine’s new trail extensions make it easy to get your miles in (p. 10-11) Stop and smell the flowers Visit the Muscatine Pollinator Park (p. 4) Stick your toes in the sand or play beach volleyball Visit Deep Lakes beach (p. 9) Go kayaking Rent a kayak from Muscatine County Conservation Board (p. 9) Stay in a cabin on a lake Later this year you can rent cabins at Deep Lakes Park (p. 9) Enjoy public art Multiple sculptures are located around Muscatine this summer (p. 13) Take kids to a playground Visit the new addition to Discovery Park by the old barn! (Opening this summer) Rappel down a building Go OVER THE EDGE by rappelling down the Laurel building to raise money for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Special Olympics! Check out page 21 and for details! Muscatine Magazine • Summer 2019 1

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By Jim Elias High atop Muscatine’s West Hill, Chief Blackhawk stands watch over the picturesque Greek Revival style J.C.B. Warde House, the city and the Mississippi River valley. Although Blackhawk is a fitting tribute, Muscatine’s history runs as deep and wide as the great river. It’s a one-hundred-eighty-year history that has been uniquely preserved through the architecture and stories of more than two hundred homes found in the West Hill Historic District. Across Cherry Street stands the glorious Queen Anne Victorian home known as the Clark-Blackwell House, built by Captain William A. Clark in 1882. Clark was an early Muscatine County pioneer, industrialist and reportedly a friend of Blackhawk. The J.C.B. Warde House and the Clark-Blackwell House are two brilliant examples of the eclectic history and architecture of Muscatine. During the 1980’s, the booklet A Stroll Through Old Muscatine was created by the Historic Homes Study Group of the Muscatine Branch of the American Association of University Women. The booklet showcased forty five of these grand and varied homes found on West Second and Third Streets in Muscatine. A Stroll Through Old Muscatine was originally compiled and edited by Bett Reusswig and Sallann McCarthy with original drawings by James Kemper.

reprint of the booklet as a memorial to Linda Reichert, Innkeeper at Strawberry Farms Bed & Breakfast and longtime supporter of the CVB. “Linda saw a need for interesting activities for her guests to do,” said Wildermuth, “so she graciously provided her copy of the original A Stroll Through Old Muscatine to her guests to explore Muscatine. Linda was a real pioneer promoting tourism in Muscatine.” In addition to the West Hill Historic District, the J.C.B. Warde House, the Clark-Blackwell House, the Pliny Fay House and the Alexander Clark House, are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Come, stroll through Old Muscatine’s West Hill Historic District. You’ll discover treasures built as long ago as 1843; big glorious mansions and small brick cottages; and every residential architectural style imaginable from Queen Anne Victorian to Italianate to Federal to Greek Revival. n

The booklet told the tale of many historical homes. The stories were more than just an interesting read; they also illustrated how prominent families worked together to develop and grow the town during the 19th century. In order to help visitors and residents alike enjoy their own ‘stroll through old Muscatine’, members of the Muscatine Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) recently coordinated the reprinting of the booklet, funded in part by a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine. Mary Wildermuth, who sits on the CVB Board, said the committee dedicated the

Own a copy of A Stroll Through Old Muscatine Booklets will be available for $1.00 at the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry office as well as other locations in the city. Muscatine Magazine • Summer 2019 3


MIKE: CAN WE ADD THE MUSCATINE POLLINATOR LOGO TO THIS BOTTOM PART WITH THE INFO? Also, perhaps a side bar that has the definition of a pollinator and what pollinators are in Iowa?

By Jessica Hubbard

Butterflies, native bees, and moths all share one thing in common; the Pollinator Park in Muscatine, Iowa. Located directly across the road from Kent Stein Park on Houser Street, the park’s main entrance beckons visitors to stroll along the over mile-long trail that winds around native prairie and wetland area. With more than 80 varieties of native flowers and grasses, the park provides 35 acres of habitat for many of Iowa’s pollinators.

4 Muscatine Magazine • Summer 2019

Born out of a collaboration between

members of the Muscatine Pollinator Project, the Pollinator Park became a reality. Originally farmland, the park was created in three phases and officially opened in 2017. Jon Koch, a founding member of the Muscatine Pollinator Project said the project’s mission is to educate the public on the importance of native flora, and to plant as many native species in the Muscatine area as possible. With the Pollinator Park now open, the goal is to create a space where the community can visit to learn about native species and the benefits they provide. Individuals, organizations, and businesses within the Muscatine area have helped contribute the resources needed to get the project up and running. Bridgestone Bandag donated seeds to the Pollinator Park, while Muscatine Community College provided a greenhouse for the cultivation of the plugs that would also eventually be planted at the park. Students from the Muscatine High School put their hat in the ring too by offering their volunteer services at the park through United Way’s Day of Caring. June through August is peak time to see native flowers in bloom, prairie grasses growing, and pollinators taking full advantage of what the park has to offer. According to Koch, native areas typically take 3-5 years to become fully established.

Black-eyed Susan, purple coneflower, little and big bluestem, milkweed, and blazing star are just some of the native plants that will be growing in this thriving prairie. And, with a broad array of plant life, pollinators such as the Monarch butterfly can be seen enjoying a variety of food sources. The Pollinator Park’s location also offers access to many activities all within walking distance from the park’s main entrance. Directly across the street is Kent Stein Park where a flurry of baseball and softball games take place throughout the summer season. Fishing

opportunities are available at the slough that runs along the north side of the ballpark. Parking and modern restrooms are available as well. Visitors can also access the newly added Muscatine Dog Park and the Running River Bike and Pedestrian Trail System. Summer provides the perfect time to explore Muscatine’s outdoor activities. With many native plants in full bloom, bees buzzing about, and butterflies floating effortlessly on the breeze, the Pollinator Park offers a space to learn about native Iowa habitat, and the opportunity to connect with nature. For more information on the Pollinator Park and Muscatine Pollinator Project, check out the Muscatine Pollinator Project’s Facebook page and website at n

Look for these Native Plants and Pollinators

Milk Weed

Purple Coneflower

Blazing Star

Black-Eyed Susan Monarch Butterfly

Honey Bee

Muscatine Magazine • Summer 2019 5

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With the weather once again becoming sunny and warm, there’s sure to be plenty of Muscatine pups out there that are more than ready to enjoy it. But, why stick to the well trodden backyards and neighborhood sidewalks when there’s a whole park for dogs and dog lovers alike to play in? Built just a year ago but already having three hundred and thirty eight dogs as registered members, the Muscatine Dog Park can be found on 600 South Houser Street. Richard Klimes, the director of Muscatine’s Parks and Rec department, says that the park was developed as a request from local dog owners who wanted a place where their dogs didn’t need to always stay on a leash, making it a one of a kind park in the city. “It’s our intent to keep the park open year round,” Klimes shares. The Dog Park also offers other features such as drinking fountains (for both dogs and 8 Muscatine Magazine • Summer 2019

humans) and shaded benches. The park requires a permit to be used, which can be acquired by visiting the Muscatine Parks and Rec department office or visiting the registration page online. A daily pass costs five dollars per dog/per household while an annual pass costs $15 per dog/per household. The park features three separate, spacious areas in the park: One for shy or timid dogs, one for small dogs and one for big dogs. This helps assure that every pup there feels safe and comfortable. Eric, a local dog owner, said that he - along with his Australian Shepard, Maggie - greatly enjoyed his first visit to the park for a few rounds of fetch. “There’s lots of room,” he shared, “and it’s very quiet and peaceful here.” “The park offers a safe place for dogs and their owners to use,” Richard Klimes assures. The park has several rules in line to help keep this promise, such as

no dog being allowed in without a valid rabies vaccination tag, no food allowed (whether its for dogs or humans), no handlers under 16, no more than two dogs per handler, dogs cannot be left alone in the dog park, and no dogs under five months of age. The park also prohibits the Staffordshire terrier, American pitbull terrier, and American Staffordshire terrier breeds. So, if you and your furry best friend are bored this summer and are looking for a place that is both fun and comfortable, as well as a place to meet plenty of other friendly dog owners and their pets, then the Muscatine Dog Park is certainly the place to be! The park is open seven days a week from dawn until dusk. n

Large photo by McKenna Shield • Inset photo by Andrea Grubaugh

Deep Lakes PARK Park: DEEP LAKES

Perfect Summer The Perfect SummerRetreat Retreat

By Jessica Hubbard Nestled within 435 acres in Muscatine County, Deep Lakes Park offers a variety of outdoor activities. With over 15 ponds and lakes making up a 130 of those acres, the possibilities are endless. From canoeing and kayaking, to swimming and fishing, and much more, there’s something for everyone at this county park. Deep Lakes Park, the newest of the Muscatine County Conservation Board’s recreational areas, was acquired in November of 2013, and opened in the spring of 2014. Chris and Mary Rayburn of WG Block of Davenport, Iowa generously donated the land and water that make up Deep Lakes Park. The Rayburns liked the idea of encouraging others to get outside and enjoy nature. Along with their donation, the Muscatine County Conservation Board received $1 million dollars from the Pearls of Progress funding campaign for costs associated with the year-round cabins that will soon be a part of the Deep Lakes Park landscape. Two - 1 bedroom cabins, and two - 2 bedroom cabins will be available

for rent starting this summer. Deep Lakes’ cabins will have full amenities including heat and air conditioning, fold out style couches, modern plumbing and bathrooms, and a full kitchen. Muscatine County Conservation naturalist and park ranger, Dave Bakke says the cabins will be reservable and open year round. The 1 bedroom cabins will sleep up to four people, and the 2 bedroom cabins will sleep up to eight. Deep Lakes also offers a 1-1/4 mile surfaced trail that runs through the heart of the park, and is part of the Running River Bike and Pedestrian Trail System in Muscatine. This trail offers views of rolling, sandy hills, sparkling waters, and a variety of native trees such as eastern red cedars, sycamores, and cottonwoods. Visitors can utilize the paved trail with fishing gear in hand, and head out to any number of the lakes and ponds that dot the landscape. Muskies, crappie, bluegill, catfish, and several species of bass call Deep Lakes home. Canoes and kayaks are also available for rent through the Muscatine County Conservation Board from Memorial Day

through Labor Day, every other weekend from 12:00-4:00pm, weather permitting. The boat rentals are at the Lake Chester Boat Ramp located at the Pettibone Avenue entrance of the park. Other boats are permitted at Deep Lakes, but with trolling motors only. In warmer months, a designated swimming area is open to the public and includes a large expanse of beach. Ample parking is available at the multiple entrances at Deep Lakes along with nonflush restroom facilities. Pets are permitted in the park except for swimming and beach areas. They must be kept on a leash and owners are responsible for picking up after their pets. With warm weather in full swing, Deep Lakes Park is the place to be. Whether you’re an avid angler, boater, outdoor enthusiast, or just looking to cool off and relax in the water, this spot is the perfect summer retreat. Learn more about Deep Lakes Park – contact Muscatine’s County Conservation Board at (563) 264-5922 or visit n Muscatine Magazine • Summer 2019 9

Pollinator Park

Dog Park

Muscatine Arboretum





Kent Stein Ball Park

Muscatine Slough






Fuller Park & Disc Golf Course




To the Riverfront & Weed Park

Discovery Park

Soccer Complex

Discovery Park



. AV E

This addition completes a 15mile trail network connecting all of Muscatine’s major recreational amenities. The project was a collaborative effort between the City of Muscatine and Muscatine County, and was funded in part by the Pearls of Progress Community Attraction and Tourism Grant. The work started with the connection between Kent-Stein Park and Deep Lakes Park in the fall of 2017, and when completed will connect Discovery Park to Deep Lakes Park.

In the fall of 2019 the finishing piece of West Side Trail will be completed, connecting Discovery Park to Kent-Stein Park.

West Side Trail

Deep Lakes Park


57TH ST. S.

33RD ST. S


41ST ST. S










Deep Lakes Beach & Boat Ramp


Distances are approximate. For a more detailed map see

Deep Lakes Trail: 1.4 miles

Kent-Stein Park to Deep Lakes Park: 3 miles

Pollinator Park Loop: 1.2 miles

Discovery Park to Kent-Stein Park: 1.75 miles (Fall 2019)


The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Programs for Learners of All Ages The Muscatine Art Center’s summer class line up is filled with learning opportunities. Young learners (ages 2 to 7) can participate in Mini Masters offered each Wednesday morning and Thursday afternoon while school-aged kids can immerse themselves in some studio fun with summer “Mini Camps” and Kids’ Saturday Workshops.

about the animal and its habitat, behaviors, and diet, participants will create an animal art project to take home. Adults and kids are invited to “meet” Muscatine Civil War soldier, Daniel Parvin, and his wife on July 20th and August 8th. Costumed actors will portray the couple and read from Daniel Parvin’s letters. Presented this summer to the public, this project grew out of a Civil War outreach program developed for middle school classrooms and funded by the State Historical Society of Iowa’s Historic Resource Development Program.

Families will not want to miss “Animal Days” offered in partnership with the Muscatine County Conservation Board. On Saturday, July 13th, Nadie the Barred Owl will be the special guest in the Muscatine Art Center’s studio. Some slithery snakes will be introduced on Saturday, August 10th. After learning

Drop-in guided tours of the historic Musser-McColm home are back

starting on July 6th. Reservations are not required to join one of these tours offered on the first Saturday of each month at 1:30 p.m. There are many enrichment and continuing education opportunities for adults. In addition to Vada Baker’s Red Barn Studio Classes for adults, pastel artist David Garrison will teach a two day workshop on August 24th and 25th. Crafters can also join Program Coordinator Katy Loos on the first Thursday of the month for projects such as garden stepping stones and barn board signs. New this summer, adult learners can try yoga in the Japanese Garden on Saturday, July 20th and Saturday, August 17th. n

2019 EXHIBITIONS David Hayes: The Ventana Series May 9 – August 25

Muscatine & The Civil War Featured Artifacts Through October 20 Molly Wood: Omnia Vanitas June 1 – October 27

12 Muscatine Magazine • Summer 2019

Joe Meirhaeghe & Steve Sinner: Artistically Exploring Wood Vessels June 16 – August 18

By Jen Simmering

Melanie Alexander, Director of the Muscatine Art Center, has a vision for the future of public art in Muscatine. That vision begins to become reality this spring as Muscatine gears up for the implementation of our community’s first official Public Art Commission and an installation of sculptural work by famed artist David Hayes placed in public spaces. Public art, simply put, is any art placed in the public domain for all to enjoy and interpret, but it’s more complex than that. Studies demonstrate that public art programs can impact the economic stability and growth of communities by helping to create a sense of unity and identity among the people who live there. Murals on our historic buildings downtown celebrate our shared history, and we all recognize the bronze statue of The Fisher of Clams standing proudly on our riverfront. Public art can become controversial as questions arise like “Who will pay for this?” and “Who will maintain it?”. When they come together for the first time in July 2019, the new 5 person Muscatine Public Art Commission will tackle these issues with the help of advisors from the Muscatine Art Center and the Parks Department. Through a fortunate coincidence in timing, David Hayes, son of the late sculptor David Vincent Hayes, was driving through Iowa on his way to deliver some of his father’s sculpture to another facility in June of 2016. He decided to make contact with the Muscatine Art Center to explore whether one of the many shows he has curated for museums all over the country would be a good fit for Muscatine. David and Melanie established an immediate rapport and worked together over the next few years to bring this summer’s exhibit to the Art Center and public spaces. David speaks with fondness of Muscatine, praising the friendliness and work ethic of everyone he has encountered.



Find them all! n Musser Public Library nD iscovery Park near Environmental Learning Center nD iscovery Park near pond at main intersection nC ity Hall

The exhibit itself comprises a display of painted studies and miniature sculptures created by David Vincent Hayes as models for his eventual larger works which are 7 to 8 feet tall and made of steel cut into freeform shapes, welded together and painted. The Muscatine Art Center will display more than a dozen of these studies in their galleries through August 25th. The large sculptures will be installed at City Hall, Discovery Park, and outside the Musser Public Library. Pieces from this body of work have been shown in the Guggenheim and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

On August 22nd at 5 pm, the younger Mr. Hayes will return to the Muscatine Art Center to present a public program on his father’s artwork and his experiences in public art programs in his years of traveling with his father’s work. Melanie Alexander describes this event as an opportunity for the new Public Art Commission to take the measure of our community concerning the future of public art initiatives. All are invited to come share in a community conversation about how art can be used to enrich our shared spaces, beginning with this opportunity to enjoy the work of David Vincent Hayes right here at home. n

Muscatine Magazine • Summer 2019 13

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Poets E V E R Y W H E R E

Wandering Words Etches Local Poets’ Works Into Concrete Reality By Tina Roth While taking a stroll along the downtown streets of Muscatine, you might want to glance down and watch for “Wandering Words.” A unique form of publication honors the work of local poets – their eloquent words are etched into the concrete of sidewalks around town. Pedestrians can enjoy “wandering” the entire path created by reading all 15 poems or just stop for a brief literary break to read one or two while doing their downtown shopping. “It is so nice to have poetry seen in public where it can really reach out and touch people,” commented Duffy DeFrance, retired children’s librarian, active poet, founding member of Writers On The Avenue and current member of the Muscatine County Arts Council. “Putting poetry in the concrete is such a simple concept, but it really brings a spirit to a community.” In its fourth year, “Wandering Words” is a joint project between the Muscatine County Arts Council and the City of Muscatine. It is funded, in part, by a 16 Muscatine Magazine • Summer 2019

generous grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine. Inspiration for the project came when Arts Council member, David Ales, was visiting his cousin Marie Gery in Northfield, Minnesota, a few years ago and observed poems imprinted in their sidewalks. “What makes Muscatine’s sidewalk etchings unique is they are all local poets,” Ales said. The poems chosen for imprinting are selected through a submission competition held each April for National Poetry Month. Five winning poems have been selected each year since the competition’s inception in 2016. Entries are accepted from any resident of Muscatine County – young, old, professional or amateur. Among the winners are amateur writers, previously published authors and poets and, even, students from the local schools. Members of the Arts Council and area poets hope to see more poems submitted in the future, and possibly the contest used by teachers as a prompt for classroom assignments.

“It is a wonderful feeling [for a young student] to know that their words, their thoughts and ideas, will be read to the public and can have an impact on the community,” commented Hovland. “It’s a challenge to tell a story or create a feeling in 8 lines,” stressed Hovland, who holds degrees in both journalism and education and currently works as a special education teacher at Muscatine High School. “It requires discipline and a sharp editing pencil to adhere to the contest guidelines.” “Each word has to count,” agreed DeFrance. “Trying to write a poem in 8 lines with 25 characters per line, including punctuation and spaces, is a real challenge and a good workout for your brain.” “Whether you are a polished poet or someone who just looked out your window and saw something that

Find them all! n Near Madison Elementary School

n 2nd & Iowa near Carver Trust

n 2nd Street in front of Da Beets Bistro

n Harrison St. & Lincoln Ave.

n 2nd Street in front of Muscatine History & Industry Center

n 2nd & Cedar near 1st National Bank

n2 nd Street in front of the Sino-U.S. Friendship Center (Chinese and English versions)

n 3rd & Iowa near old library

n Harrison St. & First Avenue n Harrison St. & Grand Ave. n Near Weed Park lagoon lagoon n 2nd Street in front of Pearl Plaza inspired you, anyone’s work can be used,” commented Gery. “Poets are found in unexpected places. That is the serendipity of poetry.” Entrants are allowed up to two submissions each, and the poems are required to be no longer than 8 lines and concern subject matter appropriate for all members of the general public. Common themes seem to run through most of the poems. “People pick up on the river, pearls, family,” said Ales. Annette Matjucha Hovland, whose poems were selected in both 2016 and 2017, finds her inspiration in the small moments and in family memories. Her 2017 verses intertwine her own presentday chance encounter with a young

girl at Weed Park with her childhood memories of a favorite uncle. “My uncle always impressed upon me the importance of civility, of being thoughtful to other people,” she explained. “I incorporated those values into a poem about a true story of my meeting a little girl in the park.” The winning entries are selected by a guest judge using a “blind” judging process. (The poets’ names, ages and other pertinent information are not revealed during the judging.) Previous judges have included noted authors both local and beyond, including the Poet Laureate of Iowa. In addition to the sidewalk etchings, the winning poems are announced and read aloud at a community event, as well as on display in the public library.

n 3rd & Cedar near City Hall n 3rd & Iowa near Stanley Consultants

So far, 15 poems have already stamped or etched into the concrete, and the list will grow to 20 with the 2019 competition. Two of the 15 have been stamped both in English and a 2nd language. The poem in front of the SinoU.S. Friendship Center features both English and Chinese versions, while the poem in front of Stanley Consultants is etched in both English and Spanish. Ales commented that these poems give a nod to the diversity of Muscatine, as well as its long-standing friendship with its sister province in China. As for the future of the program, Ales sees it as enduring as the Council’s other efforts in the community. “Based on community response, we expect ‘Wandering Words’ to be around for a long time,” Ales concluded. Visit for details on how to enter. n

Following the Words Currently, poems are stamped into concrete near Madison school along Harrison Street and in the downtown along 2nd and 3rd Streets. According to Dave Ales of the Muscatine County Arts Council which sponsors the activity, the first year they followed the precedent set by the Minnesota towns and had plastic templates of the poems produced by a company in St. Paul. The poems had to be pressed into fresh, new concrete. With the success of the project apparent after the first year, the Arts Council brainstormed with the city to find a way to place the poems in existing concrete in the more

well-traversed downtown where they would be seen by more visitors. They decided on sandblast etching the poems. A rubber template is created, which is then glued to the concrete surface. The template is worn away during the sand-blasting process leaving behind only the etched words. The letters are then painted in black to make them more visible.

Photo of sandblasting provided by J & D Stones

According to Ales, the solution was a win all the way around. Not only did it enable them to make the poems more visible both in location and in technique, but it was also less expensive. Local company, J&D Stone, provides the sandblasting service. n Muscatine Magazine • Summer 2019 17

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Owner/Interior Designer

Premiere Pest Control Since 1949!

(563) 263-7965

215 West 2nd St.

1103 Grandview Ave Muscatine, Iowa


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r u o Y Mark

! r a d n Cale

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