Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Before and After

I love before and after shots. They can really highlight a story. Unfortunately nobody thought to take photos of the early restoration sites before work began so we only have 'after' shots. Two of the photos in this post are before and after photos. Of course it's alot easier to manage when they are taken on the same day.

First a little background. Beechwood Wetland, our newest restoration site opened in 2003. It sported three interpretive signs describing the site and some of the species. Unfortunately some time last summer someone spray painted graffitti on two of the signs. At that time I pointed this out to the city staff. The signs are supposed to be graffitti-proof, so they are easy to clean. At first I got no response. When I asked again, it was 'we don't have the time', or 'we don't have the money'. Better yet, 'graffitti removal isn't our responsibility, you need to talk to the Works department' (see Top 5 threats to the Don, #5).

I pass by this spot fairly regularly, so after a time I finally got fed up. I went to the local store and bought a household cleaner and visited Beechwood with a pair of rubber gloves and a sponge. First I took a picture of the sign with the graffitti.

A little graffitti spoils the sign.

Then I applied the cleaner and 15 minutes later, with a little water and some elbow grease, voila!

Good as new!

I thought I might need a paint stripper but all it took was a $2.50 bottle of Vim. It wasn't until after I finished that I noticed that this product is made by Unilever, ironically one of the sponsors of the wetland restoration project.

This stuff actually works!

So now that I know what it takes I (or maybe city parks staff) can cleanup the rest of the signs in the lower Don. Unfortunately some signs are worse off then the Beechwood signs.

This sign might take a little longer to clean...

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