Drivers and pedestrians on East 31st Street have a new splash of color on their daily commutes.
The Hoover Neighborhood Association and Tulsa’s Clean Hands Army collaborated to produce the city’s largest outdoor mural — 750 feet long — located east of Yale Avenue.
“One of our neighbors suggested it in our neighborhood Facebook group,” says Reynolds Wallis, Hoover Neighborhood Association board member. “She was sitting at the stop light where you exit off of the Broken Arrow expressway at 31st Street and noticed how rough the old wall looked with rust stains dripping down from the guard rails.”
Jessica Wilson, HNA board member, says some residents who’ve lived in Hoover for more than 30 years remember a mural on the wall years ago. “The muralist from Clean Hands remembered the mural and included a little homage to it with the silhouette of a man painting a wall, which we are told was on the original mural,” Wilson says.
The project was crowd-funded with a GoFundMe campaign, and local corporate sponsors made cash or in-kind donations, like Anchor Paint Manufacturing, which donated primer, Wallis says. More than 100 individuals and businesses made donations. Additionally, the 2019 “Make Tulsa Awesome” grant the neighborhood received through the TYPROS Foundation paid for a portion of the project.
For neighborhoods looking to do something similar, Wallis suggests reaching out to city councilors and the City of Tulsa’s Working in Neighborhoods department.
“We worked super closely with our city councilor throughout the project, and it was helpful to have someone who understood all of the City’s processes guiding us through each step,” Wallis says. The WIN department helps Tulsans with everything from organizing a neighborhood association to planning neighborhood events to how to apply for grants for the neighborhood.
The TYPROS Foundation is another great resource for community building and placemaking projects, Wallis adds. “Along with grant opportunities, TYPROS has years of experience in making these kinds of projects happen and gave us input on the design and advice for navigating the approval processes with the City,” Wallis says.
For 2021, the Hoover neighborhood has sights set on continuing the beautification of the area. “Several of our neighbors have shared ideas for ways to make Darlington Park even better, like adding a walking trail and water fountain, and have participated in those virtual community planning meetings,” Wallis says.