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Livable to Lovable: The Rainbow Bridge

Supporters of the new Rainbow Bridge include regulars at the Globe Dog Park. Photo by LCGross

Love Where You Live (LWYL), a new nonprofit focused on placemaking in the Copper Corridor, accentuates the positives of our region and strives to give people an emotional connection to their town. Led by Regina Ortega and Thea Wilshire, LWYL works to turn livable spaces into lovable places.  

LWYL recognizes that community is a tapestry created by weaving together many people’s interests, talents, training and passion. Believing that small things matter and there’s power in even one person or project, LWYL implements placemaking strategies to create parks, community amenities, public art and events. The end goal is a community brimming with radical hope, defiant resilience, wonder and delight, and graceful generosity.

You may be familiar with LWYL’s work. They helped to create the Stairizona Trail, Cathy’s Little Libraries, I Art Globe, the Trash Mob, the Gila monster graphics throughout Downtown, the Globe K9 Mine Bark Park and Dogtoberfest. Collaborating with other Copper Corridor nonprofits, their work is spreading throughout the region.

The monthly Livable to Lovable column will highlight new LWYL projects. February’s feature is the transformation of the High Street bridge, just down the hill from Noftsger, into a pet memorial called the Rainbow Bridge.

Many pets become family members to their humans, and their passing can be devastating. There are hundreds of pet cemeteries across the country, but Globe-Miami has no local place to mark the lives of important animals or provide a space to grieve and reflect on their love. The Rainbow Bridge provides a way to memorialize deceased animals by designating a place to put their pet collars and tags. 

Building on an anonymous poem about pets crossing the “rainbow bridge” when they die and then waiting for their future reunion with their owners, this internationally embraced concept has comforted many bereaved owners on the passing of their four-legged family member. 

Eileen Townsend and Lisa Brazil suggested creating the Globe Rainbow Bridge after they saw a rainbow bridge pet memorial in North Carolina. They suggested the idea to LWYL, who then collaborated with the City of Globe to get permission for the project, raise funds, purchase equipment, and coordinate with Public Works. 

The timing was perfect. LWYL already had a painting and fencing project on the “to-do” list for the City, which determined they should implement this initial work to reduce liability.  

Volunteers and loyal fans of Globe’s Dog Park, raised all of the funds for this project, and no public tax dollars were expended. The dog bone bench was purchased with money raised through the 2023 Dogtoberfest Celebration. Signage for the bridge was created with grant funds. Small signs with quotes about pets and honoring specific dogs or cats are available for sponsorship. If funds become available, LWYL would love to add a life-sized bronze of a dog or cat to the site, as well.

To learn more about the project, please contact Thea Wilshire or Regina Ortega at livable2lovable@gmail.com or 808-373-0032.

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