Editorial: Working together moves our community forward

Several area entities have come together in a restoration project for the fountain on Morris Street, where a sculpture will be unveiled on Thursday, and it is collaborations such as this that help move our community forward.

According to Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful, the support of Shaw Industries as the organization's sole sustainability sponsor in 2020 led to the restoration project for the fountain that has been remade into a planter with the help of the Dalton Public Works Department and Fiddleheads.

And Shaw's sponsorship helped Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful commission a sculpture out of reclaimed metal and plastic by Chris Beck that will be on the upcycled fountain.

The sculpture at Lackey Park, a pocket park near the intersection of Morris Street and Fields Avenue/Fifth Avenue, will be unveiled on Thursday, Earth Day, at 4 p.m.

Beck said he wanted to create something that will grab people's attention as they drive down Morris Street. The sculpture features a bridge over the no-longer-functioning fountain in the park. On the bridge will be children playing with and helping one another.

"We commissioned the sculpture in large part to celebrate (our) 30th anniversary at the beginning of 2020," said Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful Executive Director Amy Hartline. "While our main goals were to promote using reclaimed and recycled materials and preserving the history of the fountain in that location, during the course of 2020 it became clear that we also needed to tie in the message of a strong community through connection and care for each other and our home. Chris has absolutely rolled with all of the changes 2020 brought and we have ended up with a greater piece than we even previously imagined."

"I wanted something powerful for this community, something that bridges cultural and economic boundaries," Beck said. "I wanted something that showed people working together."

The finished work is a product of people working together, in this case Shaw Industries officials and Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful leaders. And, of course, Beck.

The Dalton Public Works Department will plant flowers in the fountain to further beautify the site.

"Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful appreciates Shaw as its sole sustainability sponsor for 2020," the organization said. "Without the support of sponsors, the work throughout the year to create a clean, green and beautiful place to live would not be possible."

We salute all of the groups and individuals who have had a role in beautifying the fountain, and look forward with appreciation to the statue's unveiling on Thursday.

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