Volunteers transform graffiti-covered Wheland Foundry pass into mural Saturday

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Some Chattanooga residents say when they travel through the Wheland Foundry pass, they see things like graffiti, an eyesore they say is covering the walls.

Dozens of volunteers got to work on Saturday to cover it up.

Jacob Nelson and Weston Poling ride their bikes through the Riverwalk.

What they see isn’t something they call “welcoming.”

“It does add some like griminess or like dirt feeling through here,” Nelson said.

Chattanooga Parks and Outdoors says they get up to three calls a week about vandalism, a matter they’re now taking into their own hands, with an artistic twist.

“When folks destroy or use graffiti or any sort of destruction in our parks, it really slows down the true meaning of what we are here for, and that is to provide beautiful and safe landscapes for all patrons to use,” Brian Smith, communications director with the City of Chattanooga Park and Outdoors, said.

The goal is: a landscape replicating the east Tennessee mountains, a piece of art here to stay by using an anti-graffiti coating, which will make it a lot easier for our parks department to clean it up.

“There’s two side walls, retaining walls on the sides that are black. And those are going to give a slight nod to the Foundry. So it’s gonna have a culture and it’s pouring molten metal, it’s just orange and white and red,” outreach coordinator Sofia Rudakevych said.

But with all this hard work there is still come concern that graffiti will go right over the new art.

“I’m afraid that someone will cover up what we’re doing today. And that’s really sad because it’s beautiful art,” Chattanooga resident and volunteer Hope Henchey said.

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