At the same time a mural was going up on University Avenue and 43rd Street, another piece of public art was taking shape not far away. The centerpiece of the work is a large painted map (some are calling it the City Heights Urban Wilderness Trail) which depicts the City Heights Canyons’ and Community Alliance’s vision to link the area’s canyons through a series of upgraded trails.
The mural was suggested by Azalea Park resident Katherine Eaton as a way to draw attention to the potential of City Heights’ canyons. Long known as places to avoid because of gang activity and homeless encampments, the canyons are being reborn as urban oasis due to the efforts of organizations such as San Diego Canyonlands. The vision is to change perceptions of the canyons as places for recreation and nature watching.
The mural is the volunteer work of artists Gloria Muriel and Beth Emerich, with supplies donated by Frazee Paints. The owners of El General Market donated the use of the side of their building, which intersects Fairmount Avenue and Jamie’s Way. FaceLift organizer Linda Pennington helped secure funding for the project.
The mural also contains an artistic impression of mother nature and plants and wildlife found in City Heights canyons.