Lisbon youth group turns vandalism into something beautiful

Local News

If you go down the Greenway Trail in Lisbon, you'll notice newly-painted murals on the underpass

LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) – Graffiti is something you may see along trains or highway underpasses. Sometimes it sends a negative message. A youth group in Lisbon is fighting this problem by painting a more positive one.

If you go down the bike path on the Greenway Trail in Lisbon, you’ll notice newly-painted murals on the underpass of Route 30.

LYFT (Lifting Youth Following Truth) has painted murals of angel’s wings, flowers, tunnels and other designs, covering what was there before.

“I could never come down here when I was a kid because of all the mean writings,” Anna Marshalek said.

“Mean things were spray painted all over the pillars, as well as this support over here and I just decided I had to do something,” said Phil Bartholomew, the coordinator of LYFT, a multi-denominational youth group.

He said at first, they tried a simple cover-up job.

“We first painted over it, just a flat paint over, which was like the teacher washing the blackboard, then leaving the room and then it immediately came back.”

Some of the kids in the group were really happy to take part in making the project something more than just a coat of paint.

“I thought it’d be fun to do,” Adyson Andric said. “It’s something that’s going to help our community instead of giving people a way to destroy it.”

“It’s nice to know that I helped clean up the community and help it look better,” Taylor Deland said.

Bartholomew said the group is ready to fix it if it gets vandalized again.

“If we have to come in and fix it, then we’ll come in and fix it. Hopefully, we have provided enough of a variety that everyone can find a little something and, together, we can own this as a benefit to the community.”

Now that it’s finished, it’s something they believe Lisbon will truly enjoy.

“Now families can enjoy the artwork, and they can take photos and just have fun,” Marshalek said.

LYFT plans on coming back and touching up the murals as needed.

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