In August, Stewards enrolled in SU-EFC’s GREEN-PR Stewardship Program had a unique opportunity to design and implement a mural on the side of a local grocery store in Capetilo, Río Piedras. The mural tells the story of the Quebrada Juan Méndez, a body of water that runs through the community of Capetillo that receives a large volume of litter entering from storm drains in the streets near the mural. The goal of the project is to make a statement and increase public awareness of the downstream ecological impacts of littering. The mural features local wildlife, including the bird, Ayaboa, and two types of fish found in the creek.

The project was made possible in collaboration with Huerto, Vivero y Bosque Urbano de Capetillo, JF Montalvo, Programa del Estuario de la Bahía de San Juan, the Municipality of San Juan, and the Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources.

The GREEN-PR Stewardship Program engages interns (both students from local colleges and interested community members) to develop green infrastructure (GI) and Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) focused educational programs for K-12 schools, youth groups, and the community. The program is part of a larger program, Generating Replicable Environmental Education Networks (GREEN-PR), that also encompasses a mini-grants program, and the creation of environmental education hubs throughout Puerto Rico.

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The mural also depicts a poem on the right hand side, which reads:

La Quebrada Juan Méndez que corre por nuestra comunidad de Capetillo se llena de basura – sorbetos, bolsas, colillas, latas, botellas y muchas envolturas. Esto afecta la calidad de vida, nuestras aguas y a todas las criaturas.
¿De dónde viene esta locura?
La basura que cae al piso, con la lluvia y el viento, llega a las alcantarillas.
Desde las Calle 12 y Padre Colón, desembocan en nuestro riachuelo. Vecinos, visitantes, amigos, compañeros: No tires ninguna basura al suelo, demostremos con acciones que a este barrio lo queremos.

English Translation:

The Juan Méndez Stream that runs through our community of Capetillo
Gets all littered – straws, bags, butts, cans, bottles and lots of packaging
This affects the quality of life, our waters and all creatures
Where does this madness come from?
Trash that falls to the floor, with the rain and wind, end up in the drains
From the streets 12 and Padre Colón they lead into the stream
Neighbors, visitors, friends, partners: don’t throw any trash on the floor
Let’s demonstrate with actions that we love this town!