Arbor provides rest for weary legs, rush for art lovers

It started in 2005 with a thought from then-Enumclaw Garden President Pat Fisk for a special art project. It developed into a committee, a series of meetings, a few field trips, discussions about the appropriate medium and a sketch. It’s now a piece of artwork and a resting bench for walkers at the gateway to Enumclaw’s Foothills Trail.

The arbor was trucked in from Alberto Croppi’s studio and made at home along the Foothills Trail.

It started in 2005 with a thought from then-Enumclaw Garden President Pat Fisk for a special art project. It developed into a committee, a series of meetings, a few field trips, discussions about the appropriate medium and a sketch. It’s now a piece of artwork and a resting bench for walkers at the gateway to Enumclaw’s Foothills Trail.

“We’ve had very positive comments from the community; we’re very excited about it,” said Diane Franchini, one of the project’s committee members. “It’s fun to drive by and see people sitting there.”

The garden arbor, which was installed June 26, will be gifted to the city of Enumclaw at 11 a.m. Aug. 7.

Titled “The Great Outdoors” it was created by Enumclaw artist Alberto Croppi.

This particular one-of-a-kind piece is constructed of a 1-inch rebar trellis with a rust-like finish. It includes two powder-coated benches and two 4-foot high gates that remain permanently open. Garden Club and committee member Mary Williams said the detail in the piece is eye-catching, like the twisting and ridging of the metal to resemble grape vines.

The piece is also filled with butterflies, salamanders, rabbits, owls and other wildlife.

“What we wanted, and we’re seeing, is people sitting here and they start looking around and discover things they’ve never seen before,” Franchini said.

The Garden Club is giving the piece to the city. It raised the $18,000 through its annual Breakfast for the Birds event, portions of its operating budget, a garage sale, garden art sales at its plant sale and membership memorial money.

In the coming weeks, the Garden Club will continue with the landscaping with a bigger project planned for Make a Difference Day in October.

Williams said she can envision the grassy area behind the bench dotted with picnic tables to provide more resting area for the future, too.

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