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Reimagining Our Streets: St. Louis BWorks Calls For Ideas From Citizens Of All Ages

May is National Bike Month, and with so many quiet streets right now, we thought it would be a good time to reimagine what some of our streets here in the St. Louis region could look like. And we want your — or your child’s — help.

A first pass by 6 year old Max, Includes tables for local restaurants, A place to play bean bag toss and a dedicated lane for bicycles and roller skates.

What would Washington Avenue in downtown St. Louis look like if it was covered with picnic tables instead of vehicle traffic? Would Fine Arts Drive next to the Saint Louis Art Museum be better as a street art gallery for chalk drawings? Or maybe with the uptick in walking and biking these days, you have a great idea for making your own neighborhood a better place to hang out. What would your non-motorized street look like?   

St. Louis BWorks believes the world needs good ideas now more than ever, and wants to showcase yours — and give St. Louis-area kids a chance at some cool prizes while we’re at it. Two kids ages 5-12 or 12-18 (one in each age range) will win a refurbished bicycle, light set and a new helmet from BWorks by reimagining what a local street could be. (In addition, the first 100 youth entrants will be rewarded with a free set of blinky safety bike lights.)  Adults are encouraged to enter as well, both for bragging rights and because sometimes adults have good ideas, too. 

Scoring will be based on a system where a total of 30 points is possible: 

  • Overall design and display (1-15 points): We want to see how you can redesign streets. Get creative — we are leaving it up to you to decide if you want to draw this, paint it, build it out of cardboard, paper, legos, etc. It’s your choice! 
  • Choice and complexity of street (1-5 points): Picking a street is important. Consider that a small street with lots of homes might be harder compared to a medium or larger-sized street. Consider who or what businesses or nonprofits are on the street and how they might contribute to your design.  
  • Diversity (1-10 points): Making room for diversity and the wide-ranging abilities and interests of people is important. Consider how you can include different areas for activities that would attract all sorts of folks. For example, your design could include both picnic tables for a restaurant to make the most of a street as well as a path for bicycle riders and/or pedestrians. 

To submit: 

In order to participate in the contest, email your (or your child’s) entry to events@bworks.org with the subject line “Street Party” no later than May 31, 2020, at midnight.

Your entry should include the following: 1) at least two images of what’s been built, created or designed; and 2) at least two paragraphs explaining and describing the ideas (the more details, the better!); 3) the entrant’s name and age, plus the name of a parent/guardian for entrants under 18 years old; and 4) the name of the local street that has been reimagined.
One entry per person, please. Light sets will be awarded to the first 100 youth who enter.  

Coronavirus Impact (Updated 3/16)

Friends of BWorks, 

Like many of you, our attention is focused on the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Our number one priority is the health and wellbeing of our students, volunteers, and staff. We are closely monitoring this situation through guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as local health officials. 

BWorks will temporarily be suspending all public operations till at least 4/3/20. Classes / Volunteering and Retail are all closed. For those of you who have signed children up for classes starting soon, we will contact you through email to discuss your options.    

We have begun increased sanitation measures in our building; including access to more hand sanitizers and cleaning high touch surface areas more often both during the day and at the end of each day.

In addition, we are instituting an expanded employee sick leave policy that will cover all staff that encourages them to make healthy choices and stay at home while sick.  

For the health and safety of others, please be thoughtful about coming into BWorks if you are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

With so many unknowns about the coronavirus, we are erring on the side of caution and following recommendations of our health professionals and will continue to make decisions about current conditions that affect BWorks’ programs and volunteering.

Stay well, 
Patrick Van Der Tuin

Create-A-Book Student Blog

My Crazy National Park Trip
By Lenore U.

Once upon a time, I left home with my mother and went on a trip to many Northwestern national parks. This meant a lot of camping and braving the great outdoors. I was scared! I knew that tornadoes were not uncommon and we’d be in Bear Country. And then there were the geothermal features of Yellowstone…

We had to take a long and stressful trip into South Dakota. From there, we went to Sioux Falls and Wall Drug (the huge store with everything!). Mount Rushmore was our next stop.

Finally, we went to Mammoth Dig Site. It was so much fun until we were racing to the car. I won the race. My prize? As I rolled down the ramp, I tumbled onto the parking lot and earned a concussion and a trip to urgent care. >:-( Luckily, going out for ice cream helped a lot. I even met a famous archeologist, who gave me his book and even signed it! I felt much better and from there left South Dakota.

We went to a campsite, about a mile or two from Devil’s Tower. Devil’s Tower, millions of years ago, was a volcano. It oozed out sticky lava that plugged its vent, causing the volcano to become extinct, or die out. The lava cooled as the cone of the volcano eroded, leaving the plug standing. Back to topic-we watched Steven Spielburg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Then, we visited the tower itself.

The tower is beautiful!

We then stopped in Cody to watch the rodeo, and it was their first night doing it! Fun, fun, fun!

Our very last attraction of the trip was Yellowstone. It is the largest national park in the USA, and for a reason: over half of the world’s geothermal features are in this park, including two-thirds of the world’s geysers! The place reeked of sulfur(which smells of rotten eggs), and we had to stay on the trail to avoid getting cooked by the boiling water. However, the place was beautiful! I was sad to go home, but I was very homesick.

Create-A-Book Student Blog

Dog, Stop!!
By Darren

I woke up with my dog licking my face. “ Really Thanos. Come on.” He is my first dog I’ve had. I like him but he is extra sometimes. Sometimes he just pees on the floor when he’s scared or excited. He gets in trouble for that. But I still like him. He gets on my nerves when I’m with him and he’s extra. When I take him for a walk, I grab his leash and take him outside. Then when it’s not even time for me to go in, I take him straight inside if he’s doing too much. I just sit down and watch TV. I don’t know what I’m watching, but I know it’s old.

One time, I fell asleep with my phone on the floor. I woke up with my dog licking my face. Thanos was in my face about to jump on the couch. “Really bru. Sit Down!” I said. He didn’t sit, but I let him slide.