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Scout adds art, color to Forest Glen Park

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: TRAVIS LOOSE - Brightening what used to be a blank green wall, this flag painting got a touchup last weekend from the Boy Scout who painted it.The newest Eagle Scout contribution to Forest Grove adds color and creativity to what used to be a blank green wall at Forest Glen Park, just west of the entrance to Forest Gale Heights.

As with so many other Boy Scouts looking to complete a project for their Eagle Scout badge, Tyler Twedt of Troop 240 in Hillsboro came to Forest Grove Parks Supervisor Steve Huffman for ideas.

Huffman’s list of possible projects included creation of a mural on the concrete-block wall at the park on Gales Creek Road.

The wall doubles as a divider for the park’s two basketball courts and also as a wall-ball surface.

As part of a senior project, a group of Forest Grove High School students had previously painted a mural on the back side of the wall featuring the students’ handprints. It was a good idea, Huffman said, but “you couldn’t really see the mural from the highway” and the paint eventually peeled.

City workers usually paint over graffiti or other problems on city walls with ping-pong-table-green paint. But Huffman thought, “Why just have a plain green wall if we can be creative about it?”

This time, he wanted murals on both sides of the wall — an American flag on the front and a map of the United States on the back.

Twedt liked the plan although he decided to paint the state of Oregon on the back instead.

Although he tried to choose paint that wouldn’t wash off or peel, Twedt ran into trouble with a sudden cold snap and rain.NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - This painting of Oregon covered up a previous, peeling mural done by Forest Grove High School students for a senior project.

He started the project on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, pressure washing both sides of the wall. But by the time he started to paint, the weather had turned rainy, compromising the paint’s quality. “It hasn’t cured thoroughly before the next bout of rain has come,” Huffman said last week. Colder temperatures also reduced the paint’s sticking power during application, he said.

While still mostly whole, some parts of the flag appeared to be washing off.

“We’re not entirely satisfied with it,” said Parks and Recreation Director Tom Gamble, who has previously expressed concern that the maintenance of such park art might gobble up too much staff time. He hoped “a little tuneup” would solve the problem.

And that’s what the project got last weekend when Twedt went back out to repair the water damage, taking advantage of a recent string of sunny days.

Huffman said he and his co-workers like the colorful murals and hope the paint will hold up.

“If it doesn’t,” Gamble said, “we’ll just paint it green again.”