PERKASIE — Perkasie’s Yarn Bloom, which transformed Menlo Park during the spring of 2018, has won an Excellence in Recreation and Parks Award from the Pennsylvania Recreation and Parks Society (PRPS).

Hundreds of residents, businesses and artists worked together during the winter months to create a massive public fiber art installation that formed the centerpiece of the borough’s day-long Earth Day celebration in April 2018, then remained in place for another month.

Using traditional craft techniques like knitting, crochet, weaving, embroidery, pompom making and braiding, volunteers created yarn art that was pieced together or used standalone to temporarily decorate and embellish 40 trees, six pavilion pillars, three benches, a bike, seven chain link fence panels, the entrance to Perkasie’s Menlo Aquatic Center and numerous road and park signs. Volunteers also created a knitted scavenger hunt and a sculptural installation comprising five 10-foot-tall, freestanding flowers. All the materials used in the Bloom were recycled and donated.

“This project was originally conceived as a small part of our 2018 Earth Day in the park, but the public response to the idea took us in an unexpected and wonderful direction” said Linda Reid, the borough’s event coordinator. “The project captured the imagination of our community, and we ultimately worked with more than 150 residents and local business volunteers to create a unique and whimsical installation.”

After the Bloom, yarn pieces were repurposed as blankets and donated to local animal shelters. Unused yarn was donated to the Philadelphia chapter of Project Linus, which makes comfort items for children, “providing security through blankets.”

“We were excited to see that this project brought together communities that we have not typically reached through parks and recreation programming”, said Megan Prusienski, the borough’s parks and recreation director. “We are grateful for the recognition of the Pennsylvania Recreation and Parks Society.”

The PRPS will confer the honor on the Perkasie Parks and Recreation Department at the PRPS Annual Conference at The Penn Stater on Thursday, April 4.

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