Students paint pedestrian tunnel on Atlantic and Yadkin Greenway in Summerfield


SUMMERFIELD, N.C. — Joggers and runners on the Atlantic and Yadkin Greenway in Summerfield are getting ready to see more green in a spot where they use to see a lot of gray.

Art students from Northern and Northwest high schools are working together to beautify the pedestrian tunnel that runs underneath Highway 220. Maryann Vespa is supervising the art students.

“They decided to do the seasons and put characters in front of the seasons, characters you would see on the greenway like people running or couples walking, children,” said Vespa.

The students are painting the green leaves of spring and summer, bright red leaves of fall and blue geometric shapes that represent the sky. The Town of Summerfield asked the art students from Northern and Northwest High Schools for their help. Sarah Willoughby is one of the many students painting the pedestrian tunnel.

“We’ve done a couple of murals around our school, but nothing this level,” said Willoughby.

It’s a challenge, but the students believe what they designed on paper is coming together nicely.

“When we were asked, we thought it was a really great opportunity to brighten up this area and since we live here, we pass through this tunnel all of the time,” said Willoughby. “We thought it would be really good. We would benefit and the community would benefit.”

The benefit goes beyond making a dull space colorful, the project allows for the students to work together.

“This has been a tough year on all of the students, so it’s nice to see them be out here together and have that time together,” said Vespa. “I think they have been closed up long enough.”

Willoughby said it felt good to see other students and try to bring normalcy back.

“It’s been really nice because I am a senior and I feel like I haven’t had a senior year and this is a really cool way to end it and be with both schools too,” said Willoughby. “It’s a cool way for the community to be together and stuff.”

It will take Northern and Northwest high school students a few more Saturdays to finish the tunnel.

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