Kimball Parks Gets ARTS Makeover in National City

The park received solar-powered totem poles, painted rocks, and other art installations

A local nonprofit and the National City community came together to give Kimball Park a makeover.

ARTS is an organization designed to help young people learn about art and other means of creative expression, according to its website.

More than 50 volunteers helped paint, clean up trash, and set up solar-powered totem poles Saturday.

The new poles will light up the area known as Paradise Creek.

Local artist Vicki Leon designed the solar-powered totem poles and said each one is entirely unique.

The design included metal filled with pieces of acrylic glass that reflect light in different colors. It took a team of eight about 300 hours to complete.

“They’re basically in the theme of flight, and they make beautiful shadows,” Leon told NBC 7. “It becomes a part of the landscape, but in a way that brings a little more appreciation to it.”

The installations have two distinct sides. “There’s the shiny side and the textured side,” Leon said.

Volunteers also installed and painted new rocks and walkways in the area.

A new Free Book Library was also added to the creek. This will allow community members to take and give away books at any time.

ARTS used a $7,500 grant for supplies, according to its executive director, James Holliday.

“With the painting of benches, the painting of rocks, the putting in of the artwork you see - it just enhances the overall quality of life,” Holiday said.

ARTS hopes to improve other public spaces with the help of city partners and its team of volunteers.

“I think it’s a beautiful thing to have the community own something and walk through the park, their park, and be, like, oh, I did this - I did that, I contributed to that,” one volunteer said.

The Kimball Park beautification began at 10 a.m. Saturday.

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