Sunrise Rotary launches namesake project, The Sunrise Plaza—learn how to support

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Birmingham Sunrise Rotary’s Plaza Committee members Clinton Smith, Aaron Nelson, Norman Jetmundsen, Andrew Edwards, Chris Grace and Counce Drinkard pose at the future site. Tucker the dog was an integral part of the team. Other Committee members include Beth Wilder, Dan Monroe, Matt Foley, Mark Haas, Austin Creel, and David Dowd. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

The latest addition to The Jones Valley Trail Extension has just been announced! We’ve got the scoop on Birmingham Sunrise Rotary’s signature project, The Sunrise Plaza and how you can get involved today. Read on for the full details.

The Jones Valley Trail Extension

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Sunrise Plaza’s new home. Photo via Jane Reed Ross, GMC, Google Earth

We can’t wait to take advantage of The Jones Valley Trail extension, which will connect Avondale to Railroad Park. Soon we’ll be able to enjoy a tasty meal at Bettola in Pepper Place, then stroll down to Avondale to continue the evening with drinks and live music.

Of course, this extension also provides an incredible, accessible resource for outdoor exercise and recreation.

Sunrise Plaza’s New Home

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The Plaza is expected to be complete by The World Games. Photo via Jane Reed Ross, GMC

What’s an extensive walking trail without a good pit stop? Whether you need to take a breather, grab a few photos or arrange a meeting spot with a friend, The Sunrise Plaza will be a landmark destination.

Soon to be located just behind M 2, The Sunrise Plaza will feature ample seating along the urban walkway, in addition to a custom-made art installation by Deedee Morrison (more on that later).

The Trail Extension project by the Freshwater Land Trust is underway, and Sunrise Rotary expects to start the Sunrise Plaza construction in early 2022. The goal is to complete the project before The Magic City takes center stage in The World Games.

“Our club has been doing community projects in Birmingham for over 30 years, and we’re always looking for other ways that we can give back and be involved with the growth of downtown and everything that we’re seeing. So, when we found out that Freshwater Land Trust was extending the trail, it was just a natural fit…we are excited about it and look forward to the opportunity to complete this project and what it will do to revamp a completely unused area.”

— Counce Drinkard, President, Birmingham Sunrise Rotary Club

Support Sunrise Plaza

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You can have a hand in bringing Sunrise Plaza to Bham. Photo via Jane Reed Ross, GMC

As you might imagine, transforming an old rail yard into a picturesque community venue is going to take some work.

Birmingham Sunrise Rotary Club is spearheading the project, with every Rotarian supporting the campaign. The best part? You can to join in on the fun, too!

Whether you’d prefer to make a monetary donation or join the club and help build and maintain the plaza over the years, you can get involved today.

“The whole project is the result of the successful partnership of the City of Birmingham, the Freshwater Land Trust, Sunrise Rotary, DeeDee Morrison and GMC in our desire to produce engaging spaces for our City.  All are working toward completing this work before the World Games in 2022.”

— Jane Reed Ross, Senior Landscape Architect, GMC

Honoring History at Sunrise Plaza

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An ode to Avondale. Photo via Jane Ross, GMC

Next time you’re enjoying a signature brew in Avondale, take a good look around. Believe it or not, Avondale was the prime location for cattle ranchers back in the day due Avondale Spring’s ample water source.

While the days of ranching cattle might be behind us, it was paramount for artist Deedee Morrison to honor this history in her sculpture. As a nod to Bham’s industrial history, the piece will be sculpted from iron. It will display a drop of water creating a ripple effect in still water.

The design is two-fold: not only honoring the water supply of days past, but also representing the lasting impact of Rotary’s projects across the community.

Will Sunrise Plaza be your new favorite lunch spot? Let us know @BhamNow

Madison Croxson
Madison Croxson
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