Did you know there used to be a zoo at the top of Echo Mountain? And the remnants of that former zoo still exist today, perhaps most notably embodied by a now decrepit bear enclosure.
But with any luck, the enclosure won’t stay in ruins for too much longer.
Earlier today I corresponded with Mike Simms, an admin on the Friends of Echo Mountain Facebook page, to chat about the group’s goals for beautifying the old enclosure.
According to Simms, the enclosure (pictured below) at the top of Echo Mountain once housed a black bear as part of the zoo that was kept in the early 1900s that also included lynxes, raccoons, snakes, and squirrels.
Today it’s a hot mess of graffiti and wild brush.
The Friends of Echo Mountain hope to change that by transforming the space into another unique feature of the mountain top, one they feel will encourage more foot traffic, and decrease the likelihood of vandalism. The plan is once a mural is completed to open up the area, remove a few of the bushes and place a railing around the top.
Of course to do all this, they’re going to need some help.
Here’s the message the group left on their Facebook Page yesterday as an SOS for local artists who may be able to help:
“CALLING ALL ARTISTS! We are looking for someone who can transform the old bear enclosure at the top of Echo into a mural of beauty. The enclosure has been the target of vandals, and we believe that a mural would help keep them at bay. We plan on clearing the bushes surrounding the enclosure, and putting up railing. Now is the chance to use your special skills to contribute to the historic monument, and have your work be on display for many years to come! Private message me, and I will explain the details. If you know someone who you think could contribute, please share this with them.”
The most appropriate depiction for any potential mural would probably be something bear related that speaks to the locations history, perhaps a mother bear and her cub, but my hunch is if the right artist came along with the right proposal, the folks leading the cleanup would be more than willing to hear it out.
My aim in publishing this post was to raise awareness for any local artists who might want to support or lead a mural project. Honestly, I can’t think of a better community contribution than leaving something beautiful (and hopefully lasting) on a historic site.
For inquires, and additional details regarding proposals, permits and other logistics, you can email [email protected]
Thanks for reading!