Winning mural chosen for new park in Rochester Hills

After almost three months and nearly 16,000 votes, a winner has been selected in the Chief Financial Credit Union Rochester Community Mural contest. Christine Gibson is the winning artist, beating out two other finalists in a public vote. Her piece will soon be installed along the Clinton River Trail in the new Lake Norcentra Park at Rochester College.

Christine Gibson, winner of the Chief Financial Credit Union Rochester Community Mural contest. Photo courtesy Rochester College. At 7,496 votes, Gibson's mural garnered nearly half of all those cast. The simple but evocative image displays a day along the trail in a style that makes sense for Gibson, who works as a children's book illustrator. Gibson, a mother of 5, lives in Rochester Hills.

"One of my very favorite things to do is bicycle the Clinton River Trail with my family," Gibson says in a statement. "I set a goal to log 1,000 cumulative miles each summer, stopping at the Rochester Hills Public Library, Red Knapps, or Dairy Queen along the way. The trail is never the same from one week to the nextchanging in color, fragrances and wildlife, always friendly faces along the way, always spotlessly clean and safe, and is a true treasure in our community."

Gibson's mural will cover 1,600 sq. ft. along the trail. She also wins a $2,000 cash prize.

BT Irwin is project manager of Lake Norcentra Park. In an interview conducted in June, Irwin said that the community was passionate about the project and vocal about which mural was best for the park. "It's satisfying to see people take notice and react," he said.

Lake Norcentra Park is 14 acres and includes bluffs, wetlands, and woodlands throughout its landscape. Rochester College recently partnered with Chief Financial Credit Union to improve the park, which is open to the public. It is located at 800 W. Avon Rd. in Rochester Hills.

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