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2020 Placemaking Project Unveiled

KCCI Unveils 2020 Placemaking Project

Continues to Make Permanent, Physical Changes

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— The Knight Creative Communities Institute (KCCI) rolled out its 2020 placemaking initiative: an Educational Bicycle Park. The first of its kind in the region, the Bicycle Park could take the form of a small-scale, closed course streetscape, complete with realistic lane markings and signage where riders of all ages safely learn how to ride or practice bicycle skills in a safe environment. Stationary bikes could also be incorporated to allow for safe exercise. While a team of volunteers known as “Community Catalysts” will ultimately be responsible for choosing the final form and location, the project could replace vacant, underutilized space or be situated near an existing bike trail.

“Cycling is popular among residents and tourists alike, and a public space dedicated to the activity creates several benefits like improved community health and safer riders,” said Betsy Couch, Executive Director of KCCI. “A diverse outdoor recreation system like this can improve Tallahassee’s economic vitality by providing a high quality of life for residents.”

KCCI announced the 2020 project announced during its Showcase and Preview event at the Rootstock, one of Tallahassee’s newest restaurants, located under Andrew’s Capital Grill & Bar. The event also celebrated the successes of the 2019 project: Red Hills Rhythm. With significant community input, a vision has been cast for creating an interactive musical community space where residents can engage with various musical instruments and a garden where visitors can relax. Community Catalysts are currently working with local partners to bring the project to life as a permanent fixture within the Tallahassee landscape. You can learn more about the project here:

“Tallahassee’s past, present and future are intertwined with music,” said Emily Ely, Associate and Senior Designer GRC Architects and a member of the 2019 Catalyst Class, Red Hills Rhythm. “By creating this new space we are providing something unique for the community. We don’t yet have anything like what’s coming, and this is the perfect opportunity to bring together generations, abilities, skill levels, personalities – all in the name of music, a language everyone speaks.”

The 2020 project marks KCCI’s 12th year of shaping Tallahassee’s identity through placemaking endeavors, which help drive economic development and bring a wide variety of people together. Research shows that communities with a strong sense of place fare better economically. KCCI guides the Catalysts to implement a sense-of-place project that helps attract and retain the creative class, young professionals and college graduates within a 1-year timeframe.

KCCI Community Catalysts are chosen annually through a self-nomination process. Interested candidates can apply online at The application deadline closes Oct. 31.

A sampling of past KCCI projects includes the following:

  • TLH/ #iHeartTally.The 2017 #iHeartTally team leveraged public art to cultivate community pride and celebrate the city’s uniqueness by creating the larger-than-life “TLH” statue located at the edge of Cascades Park in the emerging SOMO District. Within months of installation, TLH was named a “Tallahassee Icon” by local media outlets and quickly became a go-to spot.Working in collaboration with neighbors, businesses and local government, the group also created a mobile statue of the popular #iHeartTally hashtag and painted a colorful mural above the entrance to Tallahassee’s most popular public parking garage in the heart of downtown.
  • Frenchtown Farmer’s Market.To help resolve Frenchtown’s food desert, KCCI volunteers worked in conjunction with Frenchtown neighborhood leaders and established Tallahassee’s only all-local, twice-weekly market. Funded by donations — including a $100,000 USDA grant in 2015 — the Frenchtown Farmers Market lowers the barrier to entry for local farmers and food entrepreneurs by providing equipment and business development services. It serves approximately 4,000 customers and sales exceeded $50,000 annually.
  • Cultivate Cascades.What started as a research project highlighting the potential of Cascades Park led to the team making this outdoor destination even more of a Tallahassee landmark. The team, working with more than 30 partners, successfully advocated for a comprehensive amphitheater that would meet the community’s needs for an outdoor performance venue and created the “Discovery” playscape. Discovery, presented by First Commerce Credit Union, is one-of-a-kind in North Florida and has become a popular attraction in Cascades Park. It received national recognition in 2018 when it was featured a national design publication, Assembly: Civic Design Guidelines,as a best practice example of a public space that incorporated water as a play element. It was one of 52 spaces showcased in the United States, and 1 of 4 spaces in Florida.
  • Experience Tallahassee. This project improved University and Community Connectivity by working to create a community culture that embraces college students, and positions Tallahassee as their home-away-from-home, paving the way for them to build relationships with residents and plant roots here long before they graduate. The KCCI team opted to utilize the “Experience Tallahassee” event as a platform to facilitate these connections.Implemented in partnership with FSU, TCC and FAMU. The team also created “Tallahassee’s Top 50” – a list of fifty experiences that students and residents alike can enjoy, which is available as a free download at and popular today.
  • Reimagining Waterworks.The 2016 Waterworks team set out to bring new life to the historic, yet deserted, Waterworks building nestled between Cascades Park and Downtown Tallahassee by gathering feedback from area residents and collaborating with local government and community partners to determine its highest and best use. As a culmination of these efforts, the Old City Waterworks Building will be preserved and fully refurbished in accordance with Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation guidelines as part of the city’s plan to revitalize the area and create an 18-hour downtown. A private developer will completely restore the Waterworks building as part of a larger mixed-use development project bordering Cascades Park, which is projected to generate more than $350 million in economic output.

For more information about KCCI, or if you would like to apply to be a 2020 Community Catalyst, please visit


Since 2007 KCCI has been making positive change in the Tallahassee community. KCCI brings together a diverse group of Community Catalysts who implement “sense of place” projects that help retain, attract and harness talent, increase entrepreneurship and enhance Tallahassee’s economic mobility.To date, KCCI has led 24 total projects and more than 240 Community Catalysts have volunteered their time to help create a sense of place throughout Tallahassee while engaging the creative class. KCCI is a program of The Village Square and is funded through private and public donations including: Knight Foundation Fund at the Community Foundation of North Florida, Archibald Foundation, Leon County, City of Tallahassee, Blueprint, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, Taproot, Brown & Brown, FAMU, Florida State University College of Business, CenturyLink, NAI Talcor, Lewis + Whitlock, BowStern, Serena and Jon Moyle, Cassidy and Company, Rowland Publishing, Tallahassee Democrat, Mainline Information Systems, The Summit Group, Sachs Media Group, Flightline Group, Inc., Nolia and Bill Brandt, Periodontal Associates of North Florida, PA, OliverSperry Renovation, Drs. Chaney, Couch and Associates Family Dentistry, Charlie Johnson, WilliamsGautier Law Firm.