The Peninsula Beautification Project wraps up this summer and this is what they’ve done

Ben Goulart, The Mural Man, standing with his mural creation that lives in the Manila Community Park. This mural was completed in November for the Peninsula Beautification Project. | Photo by Karina Ramos Villalobos

The Peninsula Beautification Project is an initiative to beautify and reduce litter in Manila, Samoa, Fairhaven, and Finn Town communities. The areas selected for improvements were identified by the county, project partners and community members.

“Peninsula Beautification Project is funded by Caltrans through their Clean California local grants program,” said Carol Vander Meer, the project coordinator of Redwood Community Action Agency. “It’s a partnership between [the] Redwood Community Action Agency and the Harbor District.”

The goals of this beautification project are to create welcoming areas with art along with reducing and preventing illegal dumping of large items, littering and vehicle abandonment. The project also provides engaging opportunities for the community to participate in.

“They selected me as one of the artists to do this particular mural, said Benjamin Goulart, The Mural Man. “They encouraged me to branch out and grab a few more wild characters. So we have things like leopard sharks and bat rays and linc card, and it was a fun mural to produce.” 

Goulart, also known as The Mural Man, has been making art for over 27 years. He created the mural that lives in the Manila Community Park. This is only one of the art projects attached to beautifying the Peninsula area. Others include planting native plants at Manila Park and installing a new sign there. There’s also a sculpture at the park for kids to climb and enjoy. 

“We’ve been doing so many different things,” Vander Meer said. “We’ve been beautifying spaces by hiring local artists to do a variety of murals. We purchased things like waste disposal cans for different agencies, dog waste collectors, things like that.”

Another recent effort is signage in Manila that welcomes passing visitors to the area. This beautification project has been a two-year job with hopes to wrap up in the summer.

Tomorrow organizers are holding a community clean-up event in Fairhaven for community members to participate in starting at 10 a.m. This is another aspect of beautifying the Peninsula area.

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