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Students add more color to nature through mural

Clear Creek Elementary students work on a mural on the side of a bridge nearby their school. The project is one of the last ones of the school year for the fourth graders.  - Seraine Page
Clear Creek Elementary students work on a mural on the side of a bridge nearby their school. The project is one of the last ones of the school year for the fourth graders.
— image credit: Seraine Page

 

A mural of the space needle — with a 12th man flag flying high — snow-capped mountains and spawning salmon are now part of nature's landscape on Shadow Glen Boulevard bridge.

As a final year-end salute to

the salmon they'd been studying, Clear Creek Elementary students painted the side of the bridge — that replaced a culvert last fall — a

s a tribute to the beloved fish they studied all year long.

On May 29 and 30, Barbara Bromley's fourth grade students--who also released salmon into the creek earlier this year — spent time working on the mural in small groups.

"I've never painted this much," said Ainara Singleton, 10. "It's fun. I usually paint at home. This (mural) is something I love painting. It's not like being a famous painter, but I get to do something fun."

Looking down at the paint tarp atop a small wooden bridge that covered the trickling stream, Singleton noted that she and her classmates would be extra careful not to harm the salmon environment.

"You're in a natural habitat," she said. "(If we drop paint) it will kill macroinvertebrates and then what

will the salmon eat?"

Pat Kirschbaum of Kitsap County public works, was on hand to encourage students and to also show them some macroinvertebrates she found nearby under rocks.

The public works department provided the paint for the project, the first of its kind in the county.

"It gives them some stewardship. We talked about why all this is down here to protect the creek," she said of discussions about the bridge area.

Only one side of the bridge will be painted since the neighbors facing it were agreeable to the new artwork.

"It's cool. It's better than looking at just plain concrete," said resident Eric Morin, whose front yard faces the newly decorated bridge. "It'll be interesting to see what it looks like when it's all said and done."

The mural was the vision of Bromley and her daughter, Amy, a senior at Central Kitsap. The duo spent four hours of on Sunday sketching out the mural on the wall.

The culmination project served as a lesson in ownership of nature, Bromley said. She said she hopes it also teaches the community a lesson as well.

"I hope it develops appreciation for what kids are able to do and how to contribute to the community," she said. "They have a sense of pride. They can make a difference."

Some students, while painting, said they felt the importance of what they were doing and how lucky they were to do it.

Ruby Smith, 10, was one of Bromley's students who had a chance to leave the classroom to paint the mural. Smith said the artistic expression happened to be one of her favorite parts of the whole project.

"It think it's fun because you get to show how artistic you are, and I just think it's cool because not a lot of fourth graders get to do this," she said.

Smith added, "It's cool because when I'm like grown up I can come here and see what I did."

 

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