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Natick - Local Town Pages

“Trail of Love”: Crocheted Mandalas on the CRT

A New Community Public Art Project
has been installed high up on fourteen large tree branches overlooking the Cochituate Rail Trail from Mechanic Street north to the Route 30 bridge. 
The crocheted mandala project adds beauty and joy with swaying, twirling hoops of different sizes and colors that will remain on view through the fall. Take a walk, look up, and see how many you can find!


The project was conceived in a Natick Public Art meeting in February. Local artist, Carol Krentzman, took the lead and purchased wire wreath hoops of various sizes. 
A request for people willing to crochet was put out on Facebook by Krentzman’s daughter in March. Thirty volunteers responded. After a second request, another 30 agreed to each crochet one or two mandalas. 
Sixty hoops were labeled with volunteers’ names, placed in a bin on Krentzman’s porch, and picked up at their convenience. Finished mandalas began to show up on the porch in the same bin starting in mid-April, as the deadline of May 1st was approaching. The variety, skill level, and beautiful colors were a treat to behold. In the end, Krentzman received 70 unique and amazing crocheted mandalas.
To be ready for installation, Krentzman walked the CRT four times to identify possible tree branches and labeled them with pink caution tape. Subsequently, the mandalas were grouped by color, received strings for ease of hanging, and were organized into fourteen numbered bags. Many volunteers over several days helped with this process too. After coordination with the Natick DPW and other Town officials, the first day of installation was planned for Friday, May 17th. Luckily it did not rain that day. At noon, Krentzman met with two Town employees, one from NDPW who brought a buggy to carry the mandalas, and one from NFD who brought a bucket truck, which was necessary to reach the high branches. All went smoothly, and six of the 14 chosen trees had their mandalas by the end of the day. The next Friday, May 24th at 10AM, was agreed upon to install the remaining mandalas on eight more trees. The same employees helped, along with one more person from NDPW, because a second bucket truck was needed for some of the higher branches. By 3PM all the beautiful mandalas were installed by a really great team.
A dedication was held on the CRT next to the Mechanic Street parking lot at 4PM on Saturday May 25th. Many families and friends attended, and Krentzman was happy to have the opportunity to meet some of the amazing crocheting volunteers.
The “Trail of Love” project was overseen by the Natick Center Cultural District, and partially funded by Middlesex Bank, Leese Foundation, and Home Depot. If anyone would like to help offset the remaining costs of this beautiful project, donations marked “Trail of Love” are welcome and accepted at NCCD: