At the Bronx Zoo

"How does my giraffe look?"

It was a cool, crisp Friday morning, and the Red Hook Public Safety Corps - full time, stipended AmeriCorps volunteers who work at Bronx Community Solutions and other projects run by the Center for Court Innovation - were intently working to restore a 13-year old mural at the Bronx Zoo.

The mural, painted by John “Crash” Matos, a Bronx native and internationally known artist, had fallen into disrepair. The mural was heavily damaged by water, which was followed by graffiti “tags” that defaced the mural.

The request to paint the mural had come out of a meeting organized by the New York City Police Department, where we had been invited to describe our graffiti removal initiative. Charles Vassar, Director of Community Affairs of the Wildlife Conservation Society (which runs the Bronx Zoo) had asked if we could help him out.

Two weeks later, we were hard at work, re-painting animals, painting over graffiti and scraping off water damaged paint - all at Crash’s Direction, who returned the following Monday for detail work.

We'll post pictures when the project is finished. In the meantime, it was a good day's work.