The youth-led movement for over a year has committed to picking up trash, sweeping sidewalks, raking the playground area, and removing debris from the lake at the 44-acre park. With the city’s permission and blessing, the group invited a plethora of students from Cal State San Bernardino and San Bernardino Valley College, community leaders, city dignitaries, and residents to partake in the cultural event.
Beginning on Saturday April 18 approximately 30 muralists began painting the recreational area’s bathroom walls, the beams that hold up the pavillion, and the welcome sign, that now features a swoosh of blue, green, and orange colors which resemble the theme of aspiration, according to Generation Now member Jennica Billins. The second and final phase of the project (taking place on May 16 and May 30, respectively) will focus on painting the restroom area near the new homeless access center.
“This project is about aspiring to make Seccombe Lake Park a better place for our community,” said Billins.
For years, some say, the park has been a symbol of the city’s decline; a place filled with desolation, solitude, misdeed, and deprivation. For many San Bernardino residents, former mayor W.C. Seccombe’s vision of creating a central city haven has been long abandoned. However, the young adults present at the event aim to reinvigorate those aspirations. Their first step is to encourage youth to take pride in their local community.
“The park will not only be an awesome place, but a place that all the residents of San Bernardino can be proud of,” Billins conveyed.
San Bernardino artist, mixed martial arts fighter, and musician Lafonte “Tay” Smith, 30, explained Seccombe has always been a “rough” place since he can remember. However, he believes the murals will help attract families and inspire residents to be more creative.
“I heard they (Generation Now) were doing some good things so I became involved,” he explained. “I haven’t been here since I was a little kid, and now I hope it can be a place where I could take my daughter.”
Resident Gabriel Falatea said he believes the mural project is the renaissance of a youth-led art scene that has the potential to unite San Bernardino.
“Slowly people will come and take notice. This is such a wonderful park,” he said. “We need Art to make a comeback.”
Local restaurants Mitla’s Cafe, Super Burrito and several local residents donated food for the artists and volunteers, while Coyote Care Day helped provide funding and volunteers to help clean and paint the park.
For more information on how to get involved , Jennica Billins at (951) 775-4514.
* Coyote Care Day is an annual community engagement and volunteer service day for CSUSB students, faculty and staff organized by the Office of Community Engagement. If your organization would like support from CSUSB during next years Care Day please contact CSUSB’s Office of Community Engagement 909.537.7347 or email Bryant Fairley at firstname.lastname@example.org