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Volunteers paint underpass mural to deter vandalism at the Salish Ponds Trail.

Fairview Mayor Brian Cooper has often donated his free time to paint over graffiti at a pedestrian underpass at the Salish Ponds Trail.

To deter vandalism, the city's Community Engagement Committee decided to create a mural on one side of the underpass below Fairview Parkway east of the Salish Pond City Park, 20620 N.E. Glisan St. But instead of hiring an artist, the committee decided to enlist the community's help. PMG PHOTO: MATT DEBOW  - Amelia Rake, 10, adds hearts to her mothers creation at a community painting day at Salish Ponds on Saturday afternoon, June 1. The new mural is an attempt to deter vandalism.

On Saturday afternoon, June 1, the group hosted a painting event where anyone — regardless of age or artistic ability — could pitch in.

More than 50 participants showed up to the event, including Fairview resident Holly Rake, who brought along her two daughters, 10-year-old Amelia and 8-year-old Elaina.

"We frequent Salish Ponds, and I decided to help out," Holly said. "It's a good community bonding event."

The engagement committee members are appointed by the Fairview City Council, and the group assists with city business. The committee had planned to host a community painting event last August. The project required Multnomah County's permission, however, and the group couldn't get the OK before Oregon's rainy season began.

The original plan was to have professional artists coordinate with participants to splatter paint onto the underpass while professional artists used the random samplings to create a structured mural. Instead, participants painted whatever struck their fancy on top of a rainbow background, with pros coming by to touch up the community's creations after the two-hour event on Saturday afternoon.

Members of the Community Engagement Committee painted the rainbow background on the concrete the night before the event. PMG PHOTO: MATT DEBOW  - Attendees put their personal touches on a community mural in Fairview.

As for the Rake family, Elaina painted purple squiggly lines, and Holly wrote in neat blue lettering, "Fairview is beautiful."

Amelia didn't think the immaculate handwriting was enough and added a bit of flair to her mother's creation. Amelia painted as many hearts as she could around her mom's phrase.

"I feel like hearts make it more warming," Amelia said.

Only one side of the underpass was painted, and if it proves to be an effective graffiti deterrent, Cooper said another mural will be coming to Fairview.

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