Minneapolis turns to murals in effort to deter vandals at city parks

Minneapolis turns to murals in effort to deter vandals at city parks

Minneapolis turns to murals in effort to deter vandals at city parks

There’s a new strategy to deter vandalism in the Minneapolis parks system.

A major art project will bring nine new murals to different parks throughout the city. Each will be a makeover of a site that’s been tagged with heavy graffiti.

The work has already begun at the Lake Harriet trolley tunnel where the first mural is complete. The mission is to not only build awareness about the “Parks For All” mission and the new Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) Comprehensive Plan but also reduce vandalism.

“The park board spends $133,000 annually just on graffiti mitigation,” said Daniel Elias, a design project manager with MPRB.

Elias says some of the money that would otherwise go to removing graffiti is partially funding this project.

“They’re intended to limit future graffiti, and studies have shown when you have public art in these spaces the graffiti moves elsewhere,” Elias said.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS spoke with some Minneapolis residents to get their thoughts on the project and covering up the graffiti.

“I have a hard time imagining why anybody does graffiti,” said Wayne, who lives in Minneapolis.

“Some of it’s beautiful, I consider it a statement by the artist, that’s a graffiti artist, but if it’s offensive then it’s kind of icky,” said Sheryl Karlson, a Minneapolis resident.

“I think it gives people motivation to leave it and let it be a pretty thing to look at rather than vandalize it,” Halie Lange, who also lives in Minneapolis, said.

There are nine local artists behind the work. Elias says the selection process was very competitive, picking from 150 applicants and now tasked with highlighting the park board’s mission.

“These murals all reflect back to the community those goals, and it was also an opportunity for us to hire local artists to beautify park spaces,” Elias said.

All nine of the murals will be completed throughout the summer and fall with a celebration planned for when they’re all finished.

For more information on the project and the different locations selected, click here.