Skate park art to honor Kirschbaum
FOR HUB CITY TIMES
MARSHFIELD — Marshfield’s Skate Park will soon have a permanent memorial bench and artwork in remembrance of 16-year-old Cam Kirschbaum, who passed away from fentanyl poisoning.
On October 19, 2022, a vigil occurred at the skate park to celebrate his life. A wall of flowers and artwork was created along the park fence to help family and friends grieve. At that time, graffiti was also sprayed onto many of the structures at the skate park.
Soon, the spray-painted graffiti will be removed because the Common Council and the Parks & Recreation Department plan to replace the graffiti with colorful artwork to remember Kirschbaum. Alderman Mike O’Reilly is spearheading the project and hopes to keep a theme that will help bring awareness to drug abuse and mental health.
O’Reilly recently shared his vision at a recent Parks & Recreation Committee, which includes an eight-foot by 30-foot illuminated, concrete wall at the park’s entrance that will serve as the structure for painted murals on both sides. A memorial bench purchased with monetary donations through a GoFundMe page, created by one of the child’s close friends, will also be installed near the wall as a place to rest and reflect.
The plan also includes installing 25 pieces of artwork on the fence around the skate park’s perimeter. The goal is to have these pieces of artwork done by community citizens, and O’Reilly will be looking for people willing to help design this artwork.
Several donations have already been donated to this project, but additional assistance is greatly appreciated to assist with creating the artwork installed on the fences and the costs associated with the murals. The concrete, electrical, lighting and installation for the wall has been donated; promotional radio advertising for the project and power washing of the entire park has also been donated.
According to O’Reilly, construction of the concrete wall will begin soon, and after the wall is up, the concrete will need to cure for a few months before the murals can be painted.
The goal of the project is to connect with the youth that utilizes the park and keep healthy choices as a goal, while still remembering Kirschbaum.
“This is important to me because our country is losing over 100,000 people per year to fentanyl poisoning, and we need to make sure this never leaves the spotlight,” O’Reilly said. “I also think this is an opportunity to unite our community for an important purpose while recognizing this tragic event that got us where we are.”
If anyone is interested in getting involved with this project or providing financial support, please reach out to Alderman O’Reilly at [email protected] or call (715) 498-3785.