Visalia Happenings

Jul 3, 2010 | 2010 Articles, Community, Every Other Book

by Bill Dillberg

1000 Hands Wall

In September 2007, the City of Visalia dedicated its newest playground, The Jim Byrd Playground — a focal point of the new Visalia Riverway Sports Park. This very unique playground was designed with the assistance of students from two Visalia elementary schools and physically constructed entirely by citizen volunteers. One of its features is the 1000 hands wall. As one enters the playground, on the interior of the rock wall, we are embedding decorated ceramic tiles. The concept is to not only provide an artistic covering to the wall but provide a means to showcase the names of the children of Visalia. The images that are being placed on these tiles are the names and hand prints of children, thus the 1000 hands.

1000 hands wall

By putting ones child’s name on the tile wall now, years from now, they will be able to take their children to the wall and show them the name and hand print placed there when the parent was a child. Anyone who would like to have their child’s name on the wall can take their child or grandchild to the Clay Cafe in Visalia and create their own personal tile. There the child will have their hand painted with a special paint, (it washes off the hand easily), and then pressed on the tile. You can then add the child’s name, birth date etc. The Clay Cafe will fire the tile and it will then be added to the wall.

The cost for each tile is just $20, including personalization. All proceeds go to the Visalia Parks and Recreation Foundation and will be used to support parks and recreation projects.

A person can purchase one tile for each of their children or grandchildren or put several names on one tile. What you put on a tile is not limited to just children; organizations have also placed tiles and some tiles have been made for other family members or friends. There is also an opportunity for a charitable organization to use this project as a fundraiser.

installing the 1000 hands

At this point, we have completed one of the two walls with tiles ready to begin filling the second wall and the goal is to complete the project before the end of summer.

If you haven’t visited the Riverway Sports Park, the Jim Byrd playground and the 1000 hands wall, you should make a point to check it out, it is quite a special place. While you are there also look at the Visalia Athlete’s Pillars of Fame in the Heritage Court, a tribute to the elite athletes from Visalia.

This project is being sponsored by the Visalia Parks and Recreation Foundation in support of the Visalia Parks and Recreation Department.

Tulare County Library Anniversary

The Tulare County Library turned 100 years old on June 10th. They celebrated the birthday on the 12th, with award-winning author/illustrator, Kadir Nelson, who wrote We Are The Ship, about the Negro Baseball League. He has illustrated many children’s picture books as well.

They had a barbershop quartet from the Mighty Oaks Chorus, the Rawhide sent two players, Bud Willis’s 1915 Ford Model T, face painting, and free snow cones were available on the lawn. The African Drummers played for the audience on the lawn. They hope to do a library card drive in September in conjunction with their centennial year.

Their Summer Reading program “Make a Splash, Read!” is going on through July in all 15 branches. The various branch programs are available on their website. Children may sign up for reading logs at any time and get prizes for reading this summer.

Events for Visalia Branch Summer Reading Program

  • June 10thSummer Reading Program Starts!
  • July 8th — 11:00am and 3:00pm — Robin Stevens’ Puppet Show
  • July 15th — 11:00am and 3:00pm — Bronkar: Circus of Sound
  • July 15th — 1:00pm — Bronkar: Beat Box Teen Workshop
  • July 22nd — 11:00am and 3:00pm — Red Panda Chinese Acrobats
  • July 29th — 11:00am and 3:00pm — Boswick the Clown
  • August 5th — 11:00am — Randel McGee and Groark the Dragon®

No group or daycare visits allowed during library program times; call their Children’s Department with questions: 559-713-2732

For additional information on the 1000 Hands Wall,
contact Bill at 559-334-8656.

Bill Dillberg is a contributor to our Downtown Doings section, as he serves on the Board of Directors for Visalia’s Parks and Recreation Foundation and is also involved with the Visalia Arts Consortium.


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