WNMU Outdoor Program and Natural Sciences Co-Hosts of Youth Mural Program at City of Rocks

The WNMU Outdoor Program and Youth Mural Program partner on City of Rocks State Park Visitor Center desert scape.

© Western New Mexico University

The Youth Mural Program, in partnership with the WNMU Outdoor Program and Natural Sciences Department, wrapped up a summer mural camp at City of Rocks on July 31.

With Dr. Kathy Whiteman and artist Diana Ingalls Leyba leading, students from Cobre High School and Aldo Leopold Charter School engaged in field trips, discovery hikes with scavenger hunters, and Leave No Trace activities. They learned about southwest New Mexico’s natural history and environment, also gaining experience working collaboratively, managing a deadline and setting realistic expectations for themselves.

The 23 young people then painted a 36- by roughly 12-foot wall on the state park’s visitor center, integrating Mimbres figures and native wildlife into their desert scene.

Families of participants joined the teens for an overnight campout just ahead of the mural’s dedication.

The two-week experience was made possible through New Mexico’s outdoor equity grant, which WNMU and the Youth Mural Program co-obtained after successfully partnering to complete campus’ Barnard Hall mural.

“The grant was successful in getting more kids outside,” Dr. Whiteman said.

Submit Feedback