Community creates mural to mask fence surrounding site of old gas station

An old gas station that has been an eyesore in Bowness for a number of years was reclaimed by residents on Monday during the unveiling of a new mural.

A leak was discovered at the Gas Plus station on Bowness Road N.W. in 2010 and about 9000 litres leaked from underground tanks into the soil.

Residents and remediation began in the summer of 2017 under an environmental order.

Members of the community met with students at Bowness High School to talk about creating a mural to cover the fencing around the site.

“It was a sad and unattractive lot on a very busy corner in the middle of our mainstreet business district and so the businesses wanted to do something to kind of beautify the corner and so we thought about a community mural,” said Jacqui Esler, Executive Director Mainstreet Bowness Business Improvement Area. “Colour always brings people together and this was an area where people weren’t coming together, they were passing by it and they were throwing garbage and grass and weeds were growing so we wanted to beautify it by making it an area where people would come and gather.”

Almost 100 students took part in the art project and painted 108 pieces of wood that was donated by Windsor Plywood.

“I want the youth of Bowness and the youth of this community to be a part of this because they’re important and they’re growing up, they’re going to work in these businesses, they’re going to have businesses here, hopefully in Bowness, and I think they need to be shown that they’re part of the community as well,” said Esler.

Alison Martin is an art teacher at Bowness High School and says the students collaborated to make the massive mural.

“They all just brainstormed, what does this community mean to them and who are they working nearby in the classroom space and how could those pieces or those images connect together?” said Martin. “It was really a great opportunity for them to learn more about the beautiful history and just that community feel that Bowness has.”

Volunteers with Habitat for Humanity installed the mural on Friday and it was unveiled to the public on Monday with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The theme of the mural is ‘Bowness –Stronger Together’ and organizers say it shows how a community can come together to create something for all to enjoy.