BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It takes two years for a baby elephant’s birth. That’s exactly how long it took for one Baltimore community to welcome its own herd.

As Gigi Barnett explains, it’s artwork designed to get drivers to take a second look.

For two years, neighbors in the Mondawmin community worked on a plan to slow drivers on their busy street near Druid Hill Park.

“It would take us, like, 10-15 minutes just to cross the street just to get to the park,” said Sandra Almond-Cooper, Mondawmin Neighborhood Association. “People wouldn’t bring the kids out because it was a hassle.”

They called in local artist Barbara Thompson, hired a construction crew and unveiled the result on Wednesday: five life-size elephant sculptures.

“We talked about it. We talked about what the community had talked about and came up with the idea of a procession of elephants,” said Thompson.

But all of the work wasn’t done by artists. Homeowners pitched in some of their own designs.

“It was just fantastic,” said Almond-Cooper. “We would work on these projects at the conservatory.”

The elephants have a special meaning in Mondawmin.

“The elephant don’t forget,” said Almond-Copper. “We have the third oldest park; been here since 1945.”

And now the herd is drawing in a herd of its own.

“We see the difference. We have more people coming to the park,” Almond-Cooper said.

The neighborhood groups still need more talent and money to complete the five elephants. If you’d like to donate, click here.

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