Stairs in Valencia Park Beautified By the Community

Daniela Navarrete, Editorial Writer

A set of public outdoor stairs in Valencia Park, a community in San Diego were recently restored and renovated as a part of a project led by the Urban Collaboration Project. According to The San Diego Union Tribune, the stairs had been taken over by overgrown weeds, trash, and graffiti.

The stairs are easy to miss, as they sit between houses. They connect Las Alturas Terrace with Churchward Street and the community itself is bordered by the more well known neighborhoods of Lincoln Park and Encanto.

The stairs have become so popular that they are even included as a local listing on Google as “Secret Stairs of Valencia Park”. They were not only cleaned but also received a complete makeover. Four local artists, Shirish Villaseñor, Isabel Garcia, Shannon White, and Herbert DeLong, collaborated to paint the stairs and create a mural on the wall next to them. Now, the stairs and the path at the base of the stairs have been decorated with large, colorful California poppies as a commemoration of the wildflowers that used to grow in the area.

The paintings have completely changed the space and have made it an inviting attraction, instead of a place to stay away from. This project shows how art can change a community for the better.

As reported by KPBS, Shannon White, one of the artists, said, “There’s a sense of pride that comes along with something like this and there’s also a sense of ownership because if you live in this area you consider this yours.”