Beverley Hills combines social distancing and interactive art

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Every Wednesday, residents in the Beverley Hills neighborhood display themed art in their windows and on their porches. (Courtesy Photo)
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By Missy Schrott | [email protected]

Residents throughout the city are getting creative as they stay home and adapt to social distancing, the new normal required by the spread of COVID-19.

Several parents have found themselves simultaneously working from home and taking care of children no longer in school. To help keep kids entertained, mentally stimulated and active, the Beverley Hills neighborhood has started a new activity called “Walking Wednesdays.”

A house’s zoo-themed decorations for the March 25 “Walking Wednesday.” (Courtesy Photo)

Every Wednesday, neighbors decorate their windows, porches and front yards with artwork based around a specific theme. Then, throughout the day, kids and their parents can walk the neighborhood to admire the displays and hunt for hidden art.

The event started with St. Patrick’s Day. Resident Meredith West introduced the concept of a “Shamrock Walk” to the Beverley Hills list serve after hearing the suggestion from her 5-year-old daughter’s preschool teacher.

“The idea is just that you cut out a shamrock out of green paper … and put it in your window,” West said. “Then, as everybody walks around, they’re sort of hunting for more shamrocks in people’s windows. I thought it would be a great thing for our neighborhood to do a shamrock walk so everybody could get outside and get some fresh air.”

The initial Shamrock Walk was such a success that neighbors organized a zoo-themed walk for the following Wednesday.

Zoo animals peek out of a Beverley Hills home on March 25. (Courtesy Photo)

“Every week it seems to get a little more elaborate,” West said. “People have gotten incredibly creative in doing some art or finding stuffed animals in their houses and putting it in the window. People have done all sorts of things. It’s really turned into a great art project for kids, too.”

The neighbors plan to keep the walks going every Wednesday. More than 90 households have pledged to participate by entering their addresses on an online form. On April 1, the theme is superheroes or cartoon characters, while April 8 will be Easter/spring-themed.

“I think during this uncertain time, people are looking for community,” West said. “It’s just a really simple way to create community and do something together while we have to stay so far apart from each other.”

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