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Woman Paints Flowers Over Graffiti as a Gift to Her Neighborhood

By Justin Breen | September 1, 2015 6:05am
 Forest Glen resident Sue Parsons painted over graffiti with flowers and dragonflies.
Forest Glen resident Sue Parsons painted over graffiti with flowers and dragonflies.
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CHICAGO — Sue Parsons' gift to her Forest Glen neighbors and Metra train users comes in the form of painted flowers and dragonflies.

Parsons, a longtime Forest Glen resident, grew tired of the gang graffiti that covered the eastern portion of a tunnel under the neighborhood's Metra stop.

So Parsons, a University of Illinois at Chicago education graduate who has no painting background, covered the tagging with blue, yellow, purple, red and pink flowers, with a pair of dragonflies.

"It's my gift to the neighborhood, which is such a great place to live, and also to the commuters," Parsons said.

Justin Breen says Metra riders shouldn't expect this at all stops:

Parsons originally came up with the idea to cover the tagging in June, when a neighborhood garden walk she helped lead was going to pass by the Metra station's community garden. She received permission from Metra, but finally was able to work on the project last week and completed it Friday.

Michael Gillis, a Metra spokesman, said Parsons is a member of the Forest Glen Community Group, which has an agreement with Metra to "help beautify the street-level areas of the station."

"We are deeply appreciative of all their efforts on behalf of our customers and the community," Gillis said in an emailed statement.

Parsons' paints came from the work she uses to complete home projects. She walks by the Metra station at 5310 N. Forest Glen Ave. daily and hopes her artwork is respected by potential taggers.

"I'm hoping that by painting flowers that whoever is putting the graffiti up will go somewhere else, or hopefully nowhere at all," Parsons said.

Sue Parsons (right) at the Forest Glen Metra stop. [Provided]

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