DENVER - It’s really nothing new. It happens. It’s the Cherry Creek Trail, and we all know about its issues. It shouldn’t bother me. But it did.
A 9NEWS photographer came into the staff meeting Wednesday morning and told us about his morning commute on the Cherry Creek trail. He spotted fresh paint on a wall under the train at Wewatta Street. Graffiti. Someone spray painted a message with no purpose and a disgusting, foot tall, curse word.
I’ve done plenty of coverage about the Cherry Creek Trail’s drug problem, about the needles that line the trail, about the dealers DPD arrests on a weekly basis. I’ve also done stories about the great work people are doing to clean things up.
This week was no exception. I’d heard about this artist, Oliver Vernon, commissioned by Denver’s Urban Arts Fund to paint a 15-foot-long mural on one of the most notorious stretches of the trail near Speer and Colfax. It’s a pretty spectacular project that can be seen from the road above.
“The artwork, smack dab in the middle of it, I think, only brightens the psychological energy up a bit and I think that could be a helpful thing for this particular section of the trail,” said Vernon, who came in from Northern California to complete the mural.
So why am I upset? Because I see so many people doing everything they can to try and keep the trail beautiful. People volunteer their days to pick needles out from the banks of the creek. And on a day that I had planned to talk about how wonderful this new piece of artwork is, some moron decided to deface one of the many blank canvases left along the trail.
The Denver Urban Arts Fund aims to commission artwork like Vernon’s to prevent public places from being tagged. Let’s hope the newest project has that impact.
“Our hope is to really create an environment that is more pleasing aesthetically to users of the path weather you are on foot or bicycling, or even pedestrians that are up on the street view,” said Mary Valdez, public art coordinator for the city and county.
Look, I am not going to lose sleep over it. I am just a frustrated citizen, reporter and trail user who wishes his fellow citizens cared about and respected our city more than that. By the way, I called Parks and Rec to let them know. Maintenance crews got out there immediately. I could see the worker shake his head in disgust. Another disappointed member of the community.
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