Beth Tobey

Call for Poetry! Get your poem in concrete as part of the Rail Trail project!

Beth Tobey @ 8/24/2017

Get your poem set in concrete as part of the Santa Cruz Rail Trail Project! Submit a poem that is 7-12 words in length for our Rail Trail poetry contest! Twenty nine poems will be selected for stamping in the ADA ramps and other sidewalks along the trail being constructed in 2018. 

A great poem for the Rail Trail will achieve one or more of the following: 

 Inspire delight, curiosity or imagination 
 Instill a sense of belonging or stewardship of the Rail Trail
 Share community pride or cultural identity

Deadline October 1, 2017. SUBMIT HERE!

Here are a few examples of poems submitted at the Westside Trail Mixer Party on 5/9/17:

"Sometimes ancient courage obscurely skirts the beautiful distance."
"Sea. Coast. Cliff. Carrying the road itself."
"Curving time. Flooded with freedom on my bike."

Note: We will NOT include the author's name with the poem when stamped in the concrete- only the poem - but you will be notified if your poem is selected and identified in a variety of communications and media.

Please limit submissions to 3 per person or group.

Question about public art planning for the trail can be directed to

Beth Tobey, Arts Program Manager
City of Santa Cruz

Questions regarding the design and construction of the Rail Trail can be directed to the

Project Managers:

Cory Caletti, Sr. Transportation Planner/Rail Trail Program Manager                     
 Regional Transportation Commission (RTC)

Chris Schneiter, Assistant Public Works Director
City of Santa Cruz

Rail Trail Project Background:

The Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network is a 50-mile bicycle and pedestrian pathway along the coast of Santa Cruz County, from the San Mateo County line in the north to the Monterey County line at Pajaro. The system’s “spine” will be the Coastal Rail Trail within the 32-mile Santa Cruz Branch rail right-of-way, alongside the existing train tracks and coexisting with potential future train service.  A study of best uses of the corridor is currently underway by the RTC.

The first phase of the Rail Trail in Santa Cruz, proposed for construction in 2018 by the City of Santa Cruz Public Works Department, will span from Natural Bridges through the Circles neighborhood to the Wharf Roundabout.  Planning for public art along the trail is a project of Santa Cruz City Arts and will result in a “Public Art Opportunities Master Plan.” The City of Santa Cruz has a 7-person Arts Commission and these appointed volunteers are highly involved in this effort. Once this plan is complete, staff will seek grants and other funds for installing public art along the trail.

Several public events about art along the future Rail Trai have been held already, including the “Westside Trail Mixer” party – which invited neighbors to share their ideas for public art along the Rail Trail; contribute short poems and haikus that may possibly be incorporated in pavement surfaces of the trail; and to learn more about the Rail Trail.
Submit your poems by Sunday Oct 1, 2017 at 9:00pm here: