Immense mural reminds public of immense challenges

New “Climate Justice” painting brings together several themes


Seeking to “engage a broader swath of Thurston County residents in a conversation about climate justice,” the Thurston Climate Action Team (TCAT) is telling its message in a new 100-foot-wide painting that greets drivers and pedestrians passing by the Olympic Way roundabout in west Olympia.

The project also included volunteers from the Southwest Neighborhood Association and others including passers-by who were led by a six-artist design team made up of artists from around Thurston County including Darshima Alphonse, George Galvez, Karina Greenlee, Imani Mabwa-Childress, Ahna Rader, and Carrie Ziegler. 

Starting at the left edge, the mural features a brown fist holding ribbons representing the trans flag, the gay pride flag, and racial diversity. Woven together the ribbons become roads that feature alternative building and transportation options. Moving to the right, the roads blend into images of roots and then water spelling out the words “Climate Justice.”

A killer whale tail leads to images of flowers of medicinal and edible plants, then butterflies representing transformation and hope for the future. One butterfly lands on a child’s outstretched finger, which represents “a bountiful future which we are creating for all future generations through our actions today,” according to TCAT.

The tree roots hide canoes that represent “indigeneous people’s connection to the water,” according to TCAT and a Native Tribal prayer, painted in collaboration with Candace Penn and Jeremiah George of the Squaxin Island Tribe. The prayer is painted both in Lushootseed, the traditional language of the Squaxin Island Tribe, and English.

Happy neighbors love the new mural

Brooke O’Neill and her family bought the house above the wall a few weeks ago. “We didn’t know that the mural was going up,” she said, adding, “the day we came to pick up the keys at the new house is the day that we discovered the mural.”

“We were just over the moon, ecstatically happy, she continued. “It seems like the most amazing thing that just happened. We bought this house that we love. And I am an environmental scientist and my wife and I are a same-sex couple, and we are big supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement so to have all these themes so beautifully displayed right there in front of our new house is just …amazing.”

To learn more about this project see the Thurston Climate Action Team website.


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  • TX_Mojo

    What’s the over/under on the number of days until Antifa/BLM deface this mural? Asking for a friend.

    Wednesday, October 20, 2021 Report this