In 2016 the Office of Community Service Learning (CSL) celebrated 25 years of service. An important part of celebrating the success of the office was recognizing community partners who had been faithful in their mission and were willing to join CSL in facilitating meaningful and engaging experiences for students. The CSL office in partnership with the Office of Alumni and Community Relations had recently adopted a section of the Orange Blossom Trail (OBT) adjacent to the University and we quickly began to brainstorm ways to use the trial to enhance our connection to the community. The long stretch of wall that borders the trail and the Sylvan Mobile Estates seemed like the perfect blank slate to showcase the work of CSL, our partners, and the artistic talents of our students. Both the City of Redlands and Sylvan Estates were in support of the project and agreed that ownership was unclear, so the U of R leaned in to begin the OBT Community Mural Lane.
CSL developed an initial list of partners both on and off-campus. These partners have a foundational connection to the CSL office, have hosted student interns over the years, and partnered as work-study placements for students. The initial list of partnerships was contacted and those who wanted to participate were placed on a waiting list to have a mural designed and an install/painting event scheduled.
Once a design is approved by the University and the community partner University staff and volunteers use a projector to trace the mural in advance of a painting day. On panting days typically 3-6 volunteers can work on a mural at a time using a paint-by-number method – this means anyone at any skill level can contribute! In addition to painting a mural volunteers can patch and premier the wall for future murals, clean up trash, and maintain the trail. Once a mural is completed University staff make any corrections and add details as needed then the mural is finished off with a protectant spray.
The first set of murals for the 25th Anniversary of CSL was designed by Landon Duarte, ’16 in collaboration with CSL. Murals are preferably designed by students in collaboration with the community partner facilitated by the CSL office.
Mural Design Criteria:
Mural Partner Criteria:
Does your organization meet the partner criteria, if so and you are interested in a mural, please complete this form. *There is a waitlist for murals and they are done on a first come first serve basis.