Litter-filled letters at Hwy 24 and 21st Street meant to 'inspire' community spirit
For those wondering about the large, metal framed letters filled with trash at the northwest corner of Highway 24 and 21st Street that spell the word “INSPIRE,” they are the culmination of a project to meld the arts and the environment.
The structure at the corner's Prospector Park (named for the Prospector statue erected in 1999) is scheduled to remain there through October in celebration of Arts Month. A mid-day publicity ceremony Oct. 3 included congratulatory comments from Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers.
A press release states that the effort was led by the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region (COPPeR) and the Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance (PPORA). The entities “joined forces to orchestrate the Pikes Peak Litter Letter Project, resulting in a unique piece of public art that is constructed with trash collected during the Creek Week Cleanup,” the release adds.
The annual cleanup this year is from Sept. 29 to Oct. 6. It features numerous community volunteers picking up trash, particularly along the Fountain Creek watershed.
The roughly 6-foot-tall INSPIRE letters were constructed by Concrete Couch, a local nonprofit that focuses on functionally creative projects with the help of volunteers. According to its director, Steve Wood, the group was able to primarily use donated scrap metal, spending only about $10 on materials in all.
The endeavor was “modeled after the national Litter Letter Project, with permission to use their logo and concept,” the press release notes. It adds that the aim is to “inspire artistic creativity, inspire passion for the outdoors, and inspire environmental stewardship by creating a public art piece that focuses on the efforts to keep our public lands and waterways clean.”
The idea of using the Litter Letters concept locally was credited to Becky Leinweber, who (with her husband Dave) owns the Angler's Covey fishing store at the northeast corner of the highway and 21st.
PPORA is a nonprofit collaboration of businesses, nonprofits and land managers. COPPeR is a nonprofit arts-advocacy organization, partly funded by the city.
Westside Pioneer article