A four-day community beautification project is headed to Santee to and organizers are seeking volunteers who can roll up their sleeves and grab a paintbrush.
Volunteers will gather on April 22 through April 25 to create six scenic murals at the Magnolia Avenue underpass at the Walker Preserve Trail along the San Diego River. Those with artistic talents and painting experience are encouraged to lend their skills to the project.
City organizers say the project is best suited for volunteers age 14 and older. Professional artists are welcome. Volunteers who are under 14 must be accompanied and assisted by an adult.
Volunteer shifts include a 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. session and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. sessions during the first three days of the project. The final day, April 25, includes a 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. shift and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Volunteers for all shifts will meet at the Walker Preserve Trail entrance at Magnolia Avenue.
Volunteers are needed for several tasks – from painting the background of the murals with rollers, sponges and brushes to gridding out the mural and drawing contour lines. Artistic experience is not needed for the first task and instruction will be provided for the latter.
Organizers also need a few volunteers to help man the check-in table at the project site, collect waivers and pass out snacks, as well as volunteers to man the paint supply table and clean brushes.
Finally, those with prior artistic backgrounds will be needed to serve as “mural postcard painters” and paint details on the artwork from provided references.
Those who want to donate their time can sign up on this website.
The city will provide the painting supplies. Volunteers are advised to wear comfortable, old clothes suitable for painting plus closed-toed shoes, a hat and sunscreen. A light snack and water will be provided, but volunteers should also bring a lunch and extra water.
According to the Facebook page for the Walker Preserve Trail, some mural themes will include a panel that pays homage to Santee’s history in dairy farming and a panel that depicts wildlife that inhabits the riparian zone along the San Diego River.
The project will be supervised by professional local artist Lori Escalera. Over the past 20 years, Escalera has overseen similar projects, including three murals that were installed along the San Diego River for the San Diego River Park Foundation.
City organizers say the beautification project is funded by the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006 (Proposition 84) through a grant from the San Diego River Conservancy, as well as the City of Santee and the Santee Park and Recreation Committee.