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Utah Wildlife Walls Project

In the American West, wildlife plays a key role in our identity as a society. Today, a rapidly changing climate, dwindling water resources, and shrinking habitats provide an unprecedented threat to many of our beloved wild animal populations.

 

Our generation enjoys opportunities for wildlife encounters that simply may not be available to the next generation. While ongoing conservation science grapples with these challenges, we seek to celebrate and commemorate the role of wildlife in the fabric of our Utah culture.

#utahwildlifewalls
 

The Utah Wildlife Federation and Utah artist  Chris Peterson have collaborated to launch the Utah Wildlife Walls Project: a statewide outreach, arts, and civic engagement program designed to celebrate the wildlife heritage of Utah and document the modern relationships between people, place, and animals across our state.

 

Between 2022-2025, this program will fund the installation of at least 29 monumental wildlife murals: at least one in each county across the state of Utah. This effort will bring wildlife, in a major way, to a broad demographic of city dwellers and rural families across our state. The installation and unveiling of each of the murals will provide opportunities to engage Utahns in conversations about the role local wildlife plays in local culture and identity.

 

The pilot wall for the Utah Wildlife Walls Project, is located in the Sugarhouse area of Salt Lake City at 2100 South and 2065 East. The 120-foot mural of a Bonneville Cutthroat Trout was completed October 2022. Highlighting the “Trout in the

Classroom” program (managed by Utah Trout Unlimited) and the habitat conservation efforts funded by the Utah Cutthroat Slam (a partnership between Utah Trout Unlimited and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources), this mural project will launch the first ever Bonnie Ball Festival: an annual family-focused event that celebrates this native species and raises awareness among Utah's next generation about trout conservation in Utah.

 

The mural and accompanying celebration activities are proof-of-concept for organizing and fundraising for the rest of the 29+ murals. As we seek to expand the project statewide, we're partnering with multiple local, county, state and federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and businesses to engage Utahns in a variety of ways.

 

Gathering wildlife arts and stories from across Utah...

Residents of Utah’s rural areas have a uniquely valuable perspective on wild animals of the region, and this project seeks to gather and share their perspectives for all to experience through a wildlife “creative arts and writing” cash prize contest. We'll announce a statewide cash prize contest for the best visual art, photography, song writing, storytelling, sculpture, etc. from across the state. $1000 first prizes will be offered for the best wildlife related entries for each age category of children, teens and adults. Select entries will be exhibited and showcased in a statewide traveling exhibit and storytelling event accompanying the installation of each mural project.

We are also seeking funding and partnerships to facilitate the gathering of oral histories about wildlife across the state. This information will be compiled on a website and into a traveling exhibit to continue to educate and provide outreach after each project is completed.

A Collective Grassroots Work in Progress...

Species of local importance are being identified by a working group of Utah Wildlife Federation members, partners, and fundraising and planning efforts are in development for 12 walls in 2023.

We are fundraising currently to fund a majority of costs for these 2023 projects.The cost of the murals, roughly $10,000 each, will be provided by fundraising efforts, grants and partnerships.

 

We are working to identify and secure prominent private -and some public-walls in each county. We are also looking for local businesses, wildlife enthusiasts, artists, scientists and community orgs to partner with in each county. Contact us if this is you.

 

If you would like to nominate a wall for the project, click here

If you would like to nominate a species for consideration in your county, click here

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