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New Neighborhood Mural painted by Athmar Park community members outside Valverde Elementary

Updated: Jul 7, 2020

On Sunday, May 21st, our Denver Community Active Living Coalition (CALC) worked with WalkDenver and community members to to finish our final neighborhood walkability project, an intersection mural outside Valverde Elementary at Tejon & Nevada (one block south of Alameda).

Last June, the neighborhoods of Athmar Park, Barnum, and Sunnyside each won a grant for a neighborhood-designed walkability project by collecting the most data about sidewalks and intersections as part of the WALKscope Data Challenge. Athmar Park community members decided on an intersection mural at their neighborhood school. Through community input, we found neighborhood residents wanted to see the mural represent their cultural diversity, numerous green spaces and views, and unique agricultural heritage. The mural was designed by Michele Brown at La Mano Art, a local Denver muralist who lives in the Athmar Park neighborhood.

In the center of the design, you will see a celery stalk which recalls the historic celery fields that were here before this neighborhood existed. Behind the celery stalk is the Houston Lake, a beautiful resource in the community. You’ll notice the Colorado flag symbol on the left side of the mural design, and a globe on the right. The bottom leaves of the crest are elements of the Mexican flag, and the top of the design is a cog wheel, a Vietnamese symbol that represents communities working together.

To create the mural, Michele and volunteers first chalked a grid, then used a combination of straight edges, string compasses, and freehand drawing to chalk the design outlines, and then painted it in using a ‘paint by number’ technique.

Athmar Park's Active Living Coalition also brought VeloFix, a mobile bike workshop, to provide bike tune ups and safety checks to community members and volunteers. They also brought a fun bike piñata, snacks, and prizes!

This mural will remain in the intersection up to 2 years, promoting neighborhood identity and a sense of place, as well as providing a visual cue to drivers that children may be crossing the street on their way to or from school. This semi-permanent mural was installed through a new Community Streets Program managed by Denver Public Works. See below for more pictures from the day.

If you missed out on the installation of all of our neighborhood walkability projects, check out these links to read more about wayfinding on Barnum’s Weir Gulch Trail and Sunnyside’s Frankie the Falcon intersection mural.

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