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Heron mural to tour four Forest Preserve District of Will County locations

An 8-by-12-foot mural of a great blue heron will be touring four Forest Preserve District of Will County sites from May 1-Sept. 2.

Connecticut-based graffiti/mural artist Ryan “ARCY” Christenson created the outdoor mural on-site during the District’s “Arts & Nature on the River” event held at McKinley Woods – Kerry Sheridan Grove in June 2016. The mural was on display in the preserve near Four Rivers Environmental Education Center through March 2017.

But now the heron mural is taking off to new locations where it will be highlighted during holidays and events.

“Taking the heron on tour to other preserves gives visitors the unique opportunity to view original artwork surrounded by the nature that inspired it,” said Tina Riley, facility supervisor at Four Rivers.

Here is the mural schedule:
May 1-June 3: Monee Reservoir, 27341 Ridgeland Ave., Monee.
June 5-July 1: Isle a la Cache Museum, 501 E. 135th St., Romeoville.
July 3-Aug. 5: Lake Renwick Preserve – Turtle Lake Access, 23113 W. Lockport St., Plainfield. 
Aug. 7-Sept. 2: Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve/Plum Creek Nature Center, 27064 S. Dutton Road, Beecher.

The heron mural illustrates the type of wildlife visitors will see when they spend time in the preserves, Riley said.

“We requested that ARCY use a great blue heron as the subject for our mural because these birds have distinct features and they are frequently seen near our facility,” she said. 

ARCY is a world-class artist who creates some of his signature-style street art at live events like the one held by the District in 2016, Riley added.

“His permanent work is featured on interior and exterior walls around the globe and he has worked in conjunction with notable organizations such as The Smithsonian Institution, the National Park Service, Major League Baseball and more.”

For information on additional Forest Preserve programs and events, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.

PHOTO:  Connecticut-based graffiti/mural artist Ryan “ARCY” Christenson puts the finishing touches on a great blue heron mural he painted in June 2016 at the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon. This year, the mural will tour four Forest Preserve sites in Monee, Romeoville, Plainfield and Beecher from May 1-Sept. 2. (Photo by Forest Preserve staff)