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Mural brightens up Sebastopol school

Artist Lynn Vallarino, an alumnus of Brook Haven School, worked with students and administrators to design a mural that depicts students using green methods of transportation. (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

MARY JO WINTER , TOWNS CORRESPONDENT

A newly painted 10-foot by 20-foot mural is brightening up the campus at Brook Haven School in Sebastopol, featuring colorful silhouettes of youth walking, biking, scootering and skateboarding.

The mural is the result of a brainstorming session that took place last winter during a weekly Teens Go Green Club meeting. The club encourages students to get themselves to school using modes of transportation illustrated in the mural.

Sarah Hadler of the Sonoma County Safe Routes to School program brought the mural idea to Brook Haven principal Debbie Hanks and counselor J.T. O’Neill. Both fully supported it, especially since the school will begin serving fifth- through eighth-grade students in August. Hanks found some funding for the mural, and Teens Go Green chipped in money from its bicycle blender smoothie events.

Sebastopol artist and Brook Haven alumni Dana Vallarino worked with club members to design the mural, even using them as models for the silhouettes.

“The students are very talented and interested in creative ways of inspiring everyone to be ‘Green’,” said Vallarino. “It is very encouraging to see young generations showing our community how to be environmentally friendly.”

The mural is in the final stages and will be ready to welcome students when they return for the new school year.