This fall, a grant from I Love a Clean San Diego and SDG&E allowed us to build native bee boxes for our pollinator garden at Plaza Del Arroyo in Escondido near Grape Day Park for 2018’s Coastal Cleanup Day. We hoped to not only provide habitat for our local pollinators but to also create an area along the Escondido Creek flood channel that the community can be proud of. Some very talented volunteers helped paint roofs for our bee boxes to add some color to the garden. To our dismay, the beautiful art pieces were stolen–not just once, but twice! While things have improved tremendously since we first established this park in 2014, volunteers have struggled with keeping this area free of trash and graffiti.
The grant also allowed us to recruit two local artists to paint the utility boxes around the garden and, luckily, these are much harder to steal. While graffiti is still a potential threat we were also able to purchase a protective coating for the murals and graffiti removal supplies to make for a quick and easy cleanup. “Bee Kind”, says the first set of utility boxes painted by Avery Loux–a reminder much needed in the pollinator garden. “Every time I went out to work on the painting, people walking on the trail would pass by to give compliments on it or ask about what I was doing. I had the opportunity to not only brighten up some dull utility boxes, but to interact with and educate the community about our local pollinators,” says Loux, a student from Cal State San Marcos studying Visual Arts and Psychology. To see her finished murals you can head on over to the garden in Escondido, right behind Evans Tires. For inquiries, you can contact Loux by email: [email protected]
The second set of utility boxes feature a night and day duo of California’s native wildlife. “I feel so lucky to live in a city where I can see beautiful wildlife and I hope my art helps people value it as much as I do,” says Jennifer O’Neal, one of the artists selected for the beautification project and an active girl scouts troop leader in Escondido. “I also wanted to show my Girl Scouts that by putting work in, we can make a difference in our neighborhoods.” While the mural is still in the process of being painted, we can tell it’s going to be amazing! To see more of her work, you can follow her instagram @darksparkofdeath.