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Vandals ruin Walnut Grove art students' mural on walking bridge

WGSS Grade 12 student Jami Volpe stands beside her contribution to the salmon mural unveiled on the West Mundy Creek bridge behind the high school. Art students, with help from the Townhship, the Yorkson Watershed Stewardship committee and teacher Scott Gordon spent months working on the mural. - Monique TAMMINGA/Langley Times
WGSS Grade 12 student Jami Volpe stands beside her contribution to the salmon mural unveiled on the West Mundy Creek bridge behind the high school. Art students, with help from the Townhship, the Yorkson Watershed Stewardship committee and teacher Scott Gordon spent months working on the mural.
— image credit: Monique TAMMINGA/Langley Times

It only took minutes for vandals to ruin what took Walnut Grove Secondary art students months to create.

A mural that stretches the length of the railing of West Mundy Creek was only in place for six days, before vandals tore it off.

“I was alerted about it from a friend who lives in a complex right behind the footbridge. She found a piece of it in their courtyard. It had been tossed there,” said Kathy Masse, of the Yorkson Watershed Stewardship Committee.

Her volunteer group partnered with WGSS art students and the Township’s Langley Environmental Partners Society to have the artistic wrap put on the bridge.

The mural was unveiled on June 27. It is a tribute to the ecosystem surrounding and beneath that bridge, with a heavy focus on the salmon.

“You can see that someone ripped it down using an Exacto knife,” Masse said.

The company that created the original digital plastic mural wrap, Artistic Design, got word of the vandalism and has offered to reprint it for free, this time providing a more durable, high gloss finish.

“We are very interested in getting it back on again,” said Lisa Dreves, Langley Environmental Partners Society’s stewardship co-ordinator. “Hopefully, this time around, there will be a little more respect for it.”

The Township parks and maintenance department is currently looking into having to paint over the galvanized surface first.

A date when the mural will be replaced isn’t known yet. The project was actually the idea of a popular WGSS teacher Susan Kovach, who died of brain cancer nearly nine years ago.

The project was followed up on by other teachers, and with the help of the Township and Yorkson Watershed committee, it was completed.

Kovach’s mother and sister were at the unveiling.

See letter.

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