Opponents of the proposal to bring Walmart to Watertown will make their message clear by putting up a billboard right next to the land where developers want to put the store.
Mike Mandel – who ran for Town Council on an anti-Walmart platform – and his wife Chantal Zakari designed the billboard. It will say “Imagine No Big Box.”
The sign will go up May 1 at the corner of Arsenal and Irving streets
“We wanted to locate a public artwork at the site of the proposed Walmart that would get people to start imagining what could be built at the site instead of a big box store,” Mandel said.
The billboard also includes a drawing of a one and two story building, which Mandel said, along with people walking and bicycling.
“The imagery of the architecture is suggestive of the type of development recommended in the town's Strategic Plan for Economic Development: light, high tech industry, and offices, and a place that would be accommodating for public interaction in a positive way like a bike path that is symbolized by the bicyclist and child in the design, as well as pedestrians,” Mandel said.
Madel called the effort a community effort, and although the idea did not come from Sustainable Watertown members did send out a request for donations to their email list. The sign costs $2,500 and the couple put a call out for donations from their supporters. The couple was suprised how quickly the money was raised.
“Amazingly, we have met our goal of raising $2,500 in just over 3 days time,” the couple wrote to their supporters.
They will continue to raise money in hopes of renting the space for a second month.