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Students give Kid’s Creek Pond restroom an artistic makeover

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The following is a news release and photos from Idaho Fish and Game.

SALMON — Over 28 Lemhi’s After School Promise students recently used their creative talents to paint vibrant fish inside the Kid’s Creek Pond restroom, transforming the plain walls into colorful works of art.

“This is something the kids and the community can be proud of,” said Caryll McConnell, an Idaho Fish and Game employee who coordinated the renovation with Sheri Miller and Barb Fisher from Lemhi’s After School Promise.

McConnell, a self-described “hobby artist” who majored in art in college, also works seasonally for Fish and Game to maintain boating and fishing access sites in the Salmon-Challis area. She and others thought combining art with community involvement as a creative approach to reduce vandalism, maintain cleanliness and instill community pride in these sites. And so far, it’s worked.

Before the kids grabbed a paintbrush, McConnell, along with Heidi Messner, another local artist and Fish and Game employee, painted colorful outdoor murals on each wall then added outlines of fish that each student could paint within.

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“The results are entirely original that receive far less abuse and require less maintenance over the long term,” says McConnell. “It’s been rewarding and fun, a win-win approach for everyone.”

The 5-10 year old students also learned about fishing from Windy Schoby, Fish and Game fisheries biologist, before practicing their newly-learned skills at Kid’s Creek Pond.

“The kids had a blast and some even caught a fish or two,” Schoby said.

Because a leaking vault required replacement, this is the second time the Kid’s Creek Pond restroom has received an artistic makeover.

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In 2012, after receiving complaints the plain restroom building didn’t match such a nice area, McConnell pitched her community art idea to a friend, Meri Galvan, a Salmon High School art educator. Galvan and 14 of her students painted a beautiful underwater mural on the interior and a colorful fishing scene on the exterior.

This popular area is owned by the City of Salmon and co-managed by Idaho Fish and Game, which regularly stocks rainbow trout and excess hatchery steelhead and salmon for anglers. The area is also utilized by local educators as an outdoor classroom.

While Kid’s Creek Pond was the first roadside bathroom to receive an artistic makeover, restrooms at Elk Bend, Colston, Lemhi Hole, Carmen Bridge, Bobcat Gulch, and Red Rock access sites have also been transformed by area students and local artists. Native fish and wildlife commonly observed in the area adorn the interior walls at each site. A single-page brochure with restroom locations by Highway 93 milepost, artist’s names, and photographs of each site is available at the Fish and Game office in Salmon.

Anyone interested in participating in similar restroom beautification projects are encouraged to contact the Fish and Game Office in Salmon at (208) 756-2271.

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