FRANKLIN – What do Franklin and Boston have in common?
As well as being in the same condition, they both have a connection to Founding Father Benjamin Franklin.
And until now, that was it. But the list is about to grow a little longer.
Franklin will soon have his own version of the Freedom Trail. But instead of a red line connecting various sites of cultural and historical interest, Franklin will have ladybugs. Not the tiny kind that pops out on a hot day, but the ones that are 2 feet tall and are made of fiberglass.
In cooperation with various local businesses and organizations, the Franklin Downtown Partnership is planning a ladybug sculpture “trail” that will link the historic and cultural sites of the downtown area.
According to the FDP, the Franklin Ladybug Trail “will use ladybug sculptures to connect approximately 25 sites. Visitors will walk along the trail using a digital map and view signs detailing Franklin’s history and names. artists who painted ladybugs. “
Ladybugs are part of a public art project designed by the Franklin Cultural Council in 2014 to honor the students of Kennedy School and an inventive teacher who in 1974 successfully asked the legislature to make the ladybug the official insect of the state.
The Franklin Ladybug Trail is still in its infancy. The idea, according to the planners, is “to promote the economic development of downtown Franklin by encouraging residents and visitors to take advantage of all that downtown Franklin has to offer by sightseeing, eating and hiking. shopping at downtown businesses while walking the “Sculpture Trail”.
There are currently several ladybug sculptures in the city center, including those at the headquarters of the FDP, Dean Bank and Keefe Insurance. By the end of summer, planners expect to place over 15 additional ladybugs to complete the Franklin Ladybug Trail. The Franklin Cultural District recently awarded the FDP a grant to cover part of the cost of installing the sculptures.
According to the FDP, “The history of the ladybug in the town of Franklin is rich in stories. In 1974, sophomore students at John F. Kennedy School in Franklin and their teacher, Palma Johnson, petitioned to name the ladybug the state insect. and subsequently seen that it was promulgated. “
Beth Simon, who was among the Franklin Cultural Council members who started the Ladybug Art Project in 2014, noted in a statement on the Franklin Ladybug Trail, “The elementary school, JFK, has rallied the state to make the ladybug the bug of the state. wonderful idea to have a ladybug trail to highlight how this was accomplished. It will be a great addition to Franklin. “
The Ladybug Trail Committee includes representatives from the FDP, the Franklin Cultural District, and the Franklin Historical Commission. The members are: Lisa Piana, Beth Simon, Roberta Trahan, Pandora Carlucci, Mary Olsson, Melanie Hamblen, Eileen Mason and Jane Curran.
“We are delighted to bring together several organizations in Franklin to make this project a reality,” said Piana, Executive Director of the FDP and Chair of the Ladybug Trail Committee. “Our vision is to allow visitors and residents to enjoy the opportunity to hike the downtown trail and visit unique businesses along the way, as well as see historical and cultural sites.”
The FDP also organizes various other public art projects which will be presented as part of the course.
“It was a fun experience working with five talented artists from the Franklin Art Association to paint murals in what will be known as ‘Flower Alley’ on East Central Street,” Piana said. “This will only be one of 25 stops along the way.”