Alison Safford
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Going Home
Originally created for Aliquippa, PA downtown revitalization project.

The project-Going Home-is placed in the lot next to Freddy's Bar on Franklin Ave. The lot was used mainly as a pathway from the alley to the main street of Aliquippa. The existing path was carpeted with pine needles to add a softening quality, as well as an olfactory one. I added to the pathway (the path taken from the social realm-mill, street, to the personal realm-home) by planting trees and shrubs that would provide shelter and food, in effect a home, for the native birds. I included several bird houses for additional shelter. These houses were decorated with various photographic images of Aliquippa "homes".

The lot was cleaned and revitalized while maintaining respect for the use it served. Debris was removed in the hopes a clean lot would be inspiration for it to remain clean (an idealistic goal). Overgrowth was removed with care (and with help of labor and the loan of tools from the customers of Freddy's Bar) to leave any plants beneficial to the birdlife. More plants were planted and houses were installed. The new owners of the lot, the Elks, continued the maintenance of the site by removing debris and cutting back overgrowth in the lot. The houses have since been occupied by birds, and the remaining plants have done well.