Arizona Completes Fix of "Standin' on the Corner" Park in Winslow

WINSLOW, Arizona, August 31, 2007 (ENS) - The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, ADEQ, and ADEQ Director Steve Owens have been honored by the City of Winslow and the city's Standin' on the Corner Foundation for restoration of the Standin’ on the Corner park and monument site in Winslow.

The Winslow street corner was made famous by the song "Take It Easy," written by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey, and recorded by Frey's group, The Eagles.

The park and monument were closed after a fire gutted the former J.C. Penney/Rasco Building in October 2004 and created an environmental hazard.

A mural on an exterior wall of the building is an integral part of the park, but fire damage rendered the wall unstable, making the park unsafe for visitors. Concerns about asbestos contamination in the charred rubble had prevented efforts to remove the debris and reopen the park.

The City of Winslow implemented a cleanup plan with the grant funds provided by ADEQ under the department's Brownfields State Response Grant program. ADEQ also worked closely with the city and provided technical oversight of the cleanup.

In May, Owens announced that ADEQ was awarding an additional $115,000 grant to the City of Winslow to finish the cleanup and help reopen the park. That award brought ADEQ's total funding for the cleanup to $315,000, the largest amount of funding ADEQ has ever provided to a community under the Brownfields program.

Because the money came from federal dollars, Owens personally contacted EPA Deputy Administrator Marcus Peacock in Washington, the second-in-command at the agency, to get expedited approval to give Winslow more than $200,000 total for the project, which is the usual limit on Brownfields grants.

"The Standin' on the Corner monument is a very special place, and we put on a full-court press to get the needed approval," Owens said. "Winslow deserved the extra money. While this was an unprecedented amount of funding, it has been worth every penny of it to get the Standin' on the Corner site cleaned up and the park reopened."

The work was finished in time for the ninth annual Standin' on the Corner Festival, scheduled for September 28 and 29, 2007 with music, dancing, food and artwork.

Now anyone can stand on the corner in historic downtown Winslow, like thousands of people do every year, and have a picture taken at the Standin' on the Corner Park backgrounded by the artwork of muralist John Pugh and sculptor Ron Adamson.

Winslow, Arizona is located on Interstate 40, between Flagstaff and the New Mexico border.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2007. All rights reserved.