Jefferson Dirks, a 15-year-old freshman at Douglas County High School, spent his Sunday restoring a large patriotic mural beneath the bridge on Meadows Parkway in Castle Rock.

As drivers pass the bridge on Meadows Parkway that leads into The Meadows, they can catch a glimpse of a massive patriotic mural. By taking a trail system beneath the overpass, visitors can walk past the mural of silhouettes of military and emergency personnel standing before the American flag. Thanks to the efforts of Eagle Scout Jefferson Dirks, that mural has been restored to its former glory. [gallery size="large" ids="16863,16864,16865"] On Sunday, May 21, Dirks and a team of volunteers worked to get the 29-by-58-foot mural back in proper condition. The mural is part of a public art piece called Art Around the Rock, which was created by the Castle Rock Police Department with the help of local artists. The program started in 2014 and was geared toward deterring crime and graffiti; more than a dozen public artworks are part of the program. "American Heroes" was the particular piece in Dirks' project, and it was first completed by Janene DiRico-Cable, Ken Cable, and Bruce Makinney. According to The Castle Pines Connection, DiRico-Cable painted six murals for the program, one of them being "American Heroes." patriotic mural In order to prepare for the task, Dirks and his father spent two Saturdays with paint scrapers, clearing away the degraded paint to make it easier for fresh coats of paint to go on. On May 21, they arrived at the overpass with 12 gallons of paint and about 20 volunteers, all ready to help bring life back to the art piece. "It's been strenuous, but it's been fun," Dirks told the Castle Rock News Press. "Since it's high-profile, it will be nice to drive to the movies or something and know I did that." So if you live in Castle Rock, take a drive near or hike through the bridge on Meadows Parkway and check out the beautiful mural that Dirks helped restore. Are there other public art installments in Castle Rock that you enjoy or were a part of creating? Share them with us!
All images courtesy of Colorado Life Magazine, The Castle Pines Connection, and Castle Rock News Press (Jessica Gibbs).

New storage options in downtown Denver are giving HOPE to the homeless community.