QUEENS — Four years ago kids from Rego Park had a chance to show their talents by painting a mural on a wall beneath an underpass.
Now, as the paint has begun to peel off, a new set of children will come up with a different design to brighten the wall, according to the Rego Park Green Alliance, a local non-profit which is organizing the project.
The current mural at the LIRR underpass on 63rd Drive says 'REal GOod.' It was painted by a group of about 250 students from local schools in 2009, and was designed to recognize the Real Good Construction Company, which started development in the area in the 1920s and gave the neighborhood its name.
To make sure that the mural lasts longer this time, kids will paint on waterproof boards which will be attached to the wall, said Yvonne Shortt, the executive director of the group, which also painted a number of murals at local schools and community gardens.
The first mural has been damaged by moisture penetrating the walls, Shortt said.
The group uses water-based paints for their projects, which are also less resistant to moisture than oil-based paints, but safer for children to use, she noted.
The organization has asked the children from local schools and those who come to the Rego Park branch of the Queens Library to suggest design ideas related to environment and technology, Shortt said.
They will start the project in January and the mural is expected to be completed by the end of May 2014, Shortt said.
The group has also worked with the Department of Transportation, the LIRR and Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz for the past 5 years to keep the portion of 63rd Drive that runs beneath the LIRR underpass clean, she said.
Earlier this year, the city extended the sidewalks under the overpass and Koslowitz is using her City Council money to pay for the Doe Fund workers, who clean the area through the Ready, Willing & Able program, which employs formerly homeless and incarcerated people.
“It’s not just about a mural on the wall,” Short said. “For us it’s about revitalizing that underutilized space.”