New mural lifts a community's spirits – and increases awareness of Harris Creek watershed

Leonard Wills said that any mural located in his neighborhood had to have at least one fish. And there it is in the lower left corner — a flapping tail emerging from the mouth of a great blue heron.

Cynthia Gross said there had to be yellow in the mural, because that is the color of CARE, the community association she heads. So the sky, shown at sunrise, is streaked gold, and the color is reflected in the waves below.

And 14-year-old Dennis Hopps hopes he submitted the two winning names for the orioles depicted in the painting: “Mysterous” (which Dennis deliberately spelled without an “I” to heighten the enigma of the giant bird whose black wing sweeps over his breast like a cloak) and “Serenity” for the way the smaller bird seems to float motionless in the air.

“I was here when the neighborhood was at its peak,” the 75-year-old Wills said. “It went down to nothing. Now you look at something like this, and it tells me the neighborhood is coming back. It lightens my day.”

The approximately 24-foot-by-18-foot wall painting is one of five large-scale water-themed murals — and the first to be completed — that will be created under the auspices of the Waterfront Partnership‘s Healthy Harbor Initiative.

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