A vision for the future and the health of our Ojai Valley ecosystem are the cornerstone objectives for “Enlivening the Matilija Watershed,” a mural located on the west facing wall of the 0USD Places to Grow preschool on the corner of North Montgomery and Aliso Street. The mural is the brainchild of local citizen-environmental activist, Ray Powers, a Vice-President of the Ojai Valley Green Coalition.
Local artists Ray Cirino, Vera Long, and River Savageau worked with Powers to create a vision of the life-teeming abundance that will occur when Matilija Dam is removed and the river once again flows free. Twenty-five Ojai youth and a team of eager volunteers assisted Ventura mural artist, Lisa Kelly, in painting flora and fauna native to the region on the 30′ x 14″ mural. Clear flowing waters are shaded by native trees, flora and fauna are abundant, beavers build dams, and steelhead are free to spawn. The mural is framed by shattered pieces of the dam that, for too long, prevented nature from taking its life-sustaining course.
In addition to being an inspiring piece of art, the mural is intended as aneducational outdoor classroom to teach about environmental science and the local watershed. Students can scan the QR Code located onsite at the mural in order to access on-line resources and learn more.
Visit the Watershed Mural’s interactive website: https://www.once upon awatershed.org/matilija-watershed-mural
This community art project was made possible by grants from the City of Ojai Arts Commission and the Resource Legacy Fund.