Initiative aims to make Moose Jaw a no-tag zone

Justin Crann
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Graffiti a small, but noticeable issue

A short walk through the West End Playground is enough to showcase how graffiti can ruin the aesthetic of a recreational green space.

The park, located at the intersection of 10th Avenue Northwest and Athabasca Street, is an extreme example of that fact.

The graffiti is everywhere: someone has tagged the inside of the boards of an outdoor ice skating rink, while someone else has drawn a picture of a man smoking something on the yellow playground slide.

And on a utility shed on the park's northeast corner, someone declared — in black spray paint — a person named Jeremy has a big head.

It's a relatively small green space that is covered in black ink, and in Moose Jaw, that is a pretty uncommon sight.

"I wouldn't say (graffiti) is that bad in the city," said Cst. Landon Giraudier with the Moose Jaw Police Service (MJPS). "But when you start to drive around the city, you see a little bit more of it."

Still, as uncommon as it may be in the city, the police are working on an initiative that may reduce the amount of graffiti on the city's walls even further — and they're exploring the possibility of recruiting Moose Jaw students to help them out.

The goal of the endeavour is to deter graffiti artists from vandalizing the same space after it has recently been cleaned, added Giraudier, because "once artwork is on there, the people who do graffiti are usually pretty respectful."

Though the program is still very much in its infancy, it is intended to "clean (the graffiti) up and make the city more presentable," said Giraudier.

It will focus primarily on public spaces where graffiti artists frequently leave their mark, and it is slated to begin soon.

"We'd like to get it going this fall, weather permitting," said Giraudier. "Hopefully it all comes together."

Find Justin Crann on Twitter.

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, 10th Avenue Northwest, Athabasca Street

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