Learning From Nature
Sand Creek Trail
About This Piece
The Sand Creek Regional Greenway is a 13-mile trail located in the northeast metro Denver area that runs through Denver, Aurora and Commerce City; and connects to the High Line Canal and S. Platte trails. The section of the trail where this mural is located is heavily used by bicyclists, walkers and runners, as well as birders and nature lovers. Many species-from bald eagles to great horned owls, egret and waterfowl, muskrat and invertebrates-live on or near this portion of the Greenway. The neighborhoods surrounding the trail are home to many diverse communities near the Greenway.
Artist Julio Mendoza was inpired by the folklore of Mexico, calling out elements of the trail's environment and highlighting how each trail user, regardless of background, can learn from nature. His intention was to help build connection between the community and the outdoor space and Greenway by introducing the flora and fauna of Sand Creek, including bald eagle, elk, pelican, fox, monarch butterfly, prickly poppy, rabbit, milkweed and more through the artwork. The mural also reflects the artist's Mexican culture through his use of bright colors.
The wall and space around the wall was prepped by 12 Sand Creek Regional Greenway volunteers, including five youth between the ages of 13 and 17, who helped to clear vegetation in front of the wall space, and smooth and prime the wall.
Some comments from trail users: "My kids and I ride past the mural site almost everyday. We love seeing new additions to the Greenway!” “Looks great! And lightning fast progress!” “We love art and we love the Greenway. Thank you!”