Eagle River students Mikki Horsfield and Logan Spence-Ellis aim to do good in the community by helping to get rid of graffiti.

Confrontation leads to community service

Two Eagle River students want to help remove graffiti in the district after being criticized for writing inspiring messages…

Two Eagle River students want to help remove graffiti in the district after being criticized for writing inspiring messages on public property with chalk.

Mikki Horsfield and Logan Spence-Ellis recently submitted a letter to the District of Sicamous, seeking permission, and maybe supplies, to remove graffiti from public property, such as underneath the Bruhn Bridge. They want to do this to make a point: that “teenagers aren’t always bad and can do good things.”

Why they should be compelled to prove this stems from a confrontation the two had while outdoors, working on a project with their social justice class. Horsfield and Spence-Ellis said they were writing positive messages in chalk – mottos such as “Live each day like it’s your last,” or “Live to the fullest” – near Beach Park, when they were confronted by a resident who took issue.

“We were doing that, when we were confronted by a lady who explained to us we were the reason graffiti was happening and we were setting a bad example… if we could do it with chalk then they can do it with paint,” said Horsfield. “She also explained to us we should be doing better things and helping other people, which we do.

“We explained to her all the different charities that we help with.”

While Horsfield and Spence-Ellis haven’t given up writing positive messages (in chalk), they want to set a positive example by cleaning up graffiti in town.

“We wanted to clear that up and get rid of it to prove we’re actually trying to do the right thing here,” said Horsfield.

Sicamous council was supportive of the boys’ intentions, and staff was amenable to working with them on graffiti removal.

“We’re always looking for some help,” commented public works supervisor Darrell Symbaluk. “I think the cost would be nominal… my concern would be the supervision, having somebody onsite. We can open some dialogue with them and see what they propose.”

In working with the district, Horsfield and Spence-Ellis are hopeful they might curb future acts of vandalism.

 

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