Mural Painting is underway in Lake Forest Park - volunteers prime 188 feet of concrete

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Volunteers have finished priming the concrete
Photo by Kim Josund
By Jeffrey Jensen

A new 188-foot “mural with a purpose” is underway at Animal Acres Park! Volunteers gathered in Lake Forest Park on Sunday, September 4, 2022 to prepare and prime the future location of the Lake Forest Park “Save Our Salmon Mural." 

The mural is a collaboration among the Lake Forest Park Stewardship Foundation, local 17-year-old artist Austin Picinich, Urban ArtWorks, ShoreLake Arts, and the City of Lake Forest Park. 

The Save Our Salmon Mural will transform two concrete barriers above McAleer Creek’s culvert from dull concrete gray to a vibrant 188-foot mural of kokanee salmon. This mural site is right outside Animal Acres Park, next to Brookside Elementary.

See our previous story

Next Saturday (September 10th), the Lake Forest Park Stewardship Foundation and Urban ArtWorks will be hosting a “Community Paint Day” to host 160+ community volunteers to paint the mural. 

Volunteer painting slots are already filled, but you’re welcome to visit to watch the painting in action. The Community Paint Day will also be held at the same time as the City of LFP’s “Picnic in the Park” celebration in the adjacent Animal Acres Park, which will include food trucks, music, games, and educational booths on September 10th. Saturday will be a big day at the park!

Volunteers finish up the primer

The design: kokanee salmon in McAleer Creek

McAleer Creek was once home to large runs of kokanee salmon, a landlocked form of sockeye salmon. 

Early Lake Forest Park residents described kokanee ascending the creek by the thousands, but sadly kokanee had disappeared from McAleer by the mid-20th century. In fact, native kokanee in Lake Washington were thought to have been completely wiped out in Lake Washington by the end of the 20th century. 

Recent genetic evidence indicates that native Lake Washington kokanee have survived after all, and still spawn in a few locations in the Sammamish River and its tributaries. 

The goal of this Save Our Salmon Mural is to raise awareness about the history and health of McAleer Creek and ongoing efforts to restore native kokanee to McAleer and other local small streams.

You can learn more at the following links:
Priming the concrete for the mural painting on Sunday September 4
Photo by Kim Josund

Do you want to get involved in salmon research? 

North Lake Washington Salmon Watchers, which was instrumental in the rediscovery of native Lake Washington Kokanee, will be beginning its third season this fall. Volunteers served either as Salmon Watchers, who conduct regular observations on local streams to detect salmon presence, and Salmon Monitors, who have a higher level of commitment that includes walking a section of stream from mid-September through mid-November and potentially collecting samples. 

You can attend one of our training sessions either on Monday, September 12, 2022, 6:30-8:00pm in Blyth Park Bothell, 16950 W Riverside Dr, Bothell, WA 98011 or Tuesday, September 13, 6:30-8:00pm in Pfingst Animal Acres Park in LFP. 17435 Brookside Blvd NE, Lake Forest Park, WA 98155

Training will also be available online.

If you’d like to sign up as a Salmon Watcher or Salmon Monitor, or even if you just want to be kept up to date on where salmon are being seen locally, go to the North Lake Washington Salmon Watchers site:


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