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Reclaimed scrap metal provides raw materials for creative riverside bike racks

Artsy bike racks built with scrap metal are sprinkling the Lansing River Trail thanks to an innovative partnership.

The Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council (Mid-MEAC), in collaboration with the Old Town Commercial Association, received a Sense of Place grant through the Greater Lansing Arts Council to fund the “Scrappy Bike Rack” competition. The $10,000 grant engaged the Lansing community to create ten bike rack sculptures from scrap metal, to be installed at five locations along the Lansing River Trail this summer.

The competition invited the Lansing community to submit ideas for the scrappy racks. A panel of judges, ranging from metal artists and bicycle experts to city representatives, chose ten designs that best represent the project and the locations where they will be placed. The chosen teams created their masterpieces using free scrap metal provided by Friedland Industries of Old Town Lansing and a $250 stipend for other costs.

The racks were unveiled in late June at events that included valet bicycle parking.

Mid-MEAC, an MEC member group, believes that the scrappy bike rack project will encourage scrap metal recycling, place making, and bicycling as a mode of transit through the community creation of public art bike racks.

“While we’re not 100 percent sure that Lansing’s scrappy racks will be on someone’s ‘must see’ list, we’re really excited at what this means for the future of our community—more art, more bike racks, more people engaged,” said Mid-MEAC Executive Director Julie Powers.
-Alexis Ringman, MEC
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