Cindy Simon and Tracey Price Beautify while Recycling at YMCA Pumpkin Patch

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Tracey (left) and Audrey Price, and Cindy Simon (right) at the art installation in Winding Way.

When you visit the YMCA Pumpkin Patch in Temescal Canyon, seek out Winding Way, which is located near the hillside at Simon Meadow, just north of Sunset.

Four years ago, Tracey Price, co- owner of American Growers, a local landscaping company, helped Dorothy Miyake and Cindy Simon clear out an unused and overgrown section of the meadow. They filled the area with colorful birdhouses, stone walls and several seating places among the native coast live oaks.

Every October, Simon heads an effort to create a public art installation for the families that visit the Pumpkin Patch. This year’s theme is “Upcycling Cardboard.”

Simon said that for two months, Palisades residents (and also a friend living in Tahoe) collected cardboard trash — specifically cereal boxes, toothpaste boxes, fruit drink/soda boxes and the like — and left it all in Simon’s driveway.

She recalls that one neighbor had told her, “Oh, I don’t eat anything from a box, I can’t help collect cardboard parking,” and then realized Kleenex and Tylenol boxes counted.

After hundreds of boxes had been collected, they were sliced, cut and randomly glued onto large cardboard panels, which are now displayed along Winding Way.

The installation urges people to consider questions such as “Can everyday trash be art?” and “Does a colorful pretty picture on a box make you think the product is better than that within a plain white box?” and “Do the words on a box influence you in making a purchase? For example, are you more likely to buy something if the words on the box say “Organic” or “Made in the U.S.A” or “Only 1% sugar”?

Price and Simon hope that after viewing the installation, people will be inspired to go home and think of other ways to upcycle.

They send a special thanks to everyone who donated cardboard trash and also to Palisades-Malibu YMCA Executive Director Jim Kirtley because “he supports us in every endeavor we suggest.”

The Pumpkin Patch is open Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through October 30.

While picking up a pumpkin or two to support the YMCA’s fundraising efforts, stop by Winding Way to admire the artwork.

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