When school started on August 13 at Maryland Avenue Elementary in La Mesa, students were pleased to find that a nearby formerly unkempt walkway had been changed into a work of art.
After City of La Mesa traffic engineer Kathy Feilen updated the “catwalk” to make its barrier poles widened for ADA compliance in June, the walkway that runs east to west from Tufts Street to Maryland Avenue has received a lot of attention.
According to Maxine Lynch, the beautification of the walkway had coincidentally been a notion of hers for at least eight months. With the help of kids from different church groups and a local Del Cerro artist, Mary Conley, the catwalk is now a river.
On Saturday, August 8, Conley and two teen girls painted fish into the blue water. The work-in-progress began on July 14 with the help of a group of teenagers from Crosspointe Life Church and will continue until Lynch’s vision is complete.
In the past, the walkway has been everything from a graffiti drawing board to a dwelling place for the homeless. Suitcases, beer cans, abandoned clothes, shoes, food, and graffiti are some of the things that have been left there throughout the years. Sometimes, local residents would be bothered by the noise of skateboarders or partying going on until late hours of the night.
According to Lynch and Conley, daffodils, butterflies, and riverbanks will likely be appearing soon.