Parkdale Cromdale Community League installed solar panels and a mural
One could say Parkdale Cromdale Community League is partly focused on beauty and equally concerned with practicality. After all, they recently completed two long-term projects: a chain-link fence mural and a major solar panel installation.
Kevin Wong, the league’s current civics director, designed the mural that took over two years to assemble and contained 27,000 pieces.
Wong explains the mural all started with the fence. “[Mural volunteers] felt like the chain-link fence surrounding the league grounds wasn’t the most welcoming. I was looking for ideas to add colour to the chain-link fence.”
After Wong stumbled on the mural idea, the league board applied for revitalization funding.
After that, the league held workshops so community members could create patterns that best represented the diversity of the community. Some questions posed at the workshops were: What does diversity mean or community mean? What does happiness look like to you?
“Our league has a tradition of creating mural projects. When we held the workshops, we had a good response.”
When the patterns were created, Wong digitized them in Adobe Illustrator to form the cohesive mural. He then wrote a computer program to pixelate the mural into 27,000 plastic tiles that could be installed in 2.5 by 2.5 feet pieces.
Wong says community members started installing the mural last year and completed it in September. “People thought they’d paint. They didn’t expect to play with puzzle pieces.”
“Volunteers this year were mostly board members due to COVID-19.” He adds, “It was one of those examples of a community getting together and making things happen.”
While the mural could expand further, Avenue Initiative Revitalization funding may not continue, so the mural will likely remain as is.
The league’s solar panel installation also took three years to complete, from concept to installation. In 2017, the league board started looking into solar energy for the building and decided to go with Evergreen & Gold Renewable Energy, located in Cromdale.
“We applied for funding from all levels of government,” says Wong, explaining that the project is completely funded (a little over $45,000).
The whole south-facing roof is now installed with solar panels. This means the league should generate enough solar power to run everything at the league building. “Our whole league will actually be net-zero,” Wong explains. “We were able to sell off energy in the summer and buy it back in the winter. If we’ve done it right, we’ll actually make money.”
In a funny sense of timing, the solar panel installation was completed one week before the mural was finished, bringing both three-year projects to a close.Don’t expect this busy league to stay still for long. They’re currently holding a logo contest to update the old logo. The winning logo will be printed on merchandise and the winner will receive an assortment of the new merchandise. Read the league programming article for more details on the contest or visit parkdalecromdale.org/logo for more information.
Featured Image: The mural that now beautifies the chain-link fence consists of 27,000 pieces. | Supplied