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The Hidden Mural at Edna Metz Wells Park

A bit off the beaten path at Edna Metz Wells Park lies a hidden urban oasis of sorts. More of a swamp than a life-giving patch of water, one of its walls has a rather striking mural, emblazoned with the letters “DE”.

The pool in the first image is fed by this drain running under the spot where Clark Avenue becomes Peace Street. It’s known as the Pigeon House Branch Creek, and according to John Dancy-Jones of Raleigh Nature, it’s “the most prominent waterway in central Raleigh, but also its most abused.”

It gathers its headwaters in Edna Metz Park  just off Cameron Village, and this upper part of the creek was shifted and ditched in order to build Cameron Village.  From Edna Metz, concrete culverts carry it through Cameron Park and east down Johnson Street, where it crosses under Peace Street to be culverted again through the former Devereux Meadows, which is now a city facility for trash trucks and a salt barn.

— John Dancy-Jones

Recently the area around the park has been cordoned off on the Peace Street side. From what I understand, it’s part of a waterway improvement project, to increase water flow and reduce the levels of coliform. The latter is caused by people not cleaning up after their pets.

Several nearby residents are concerned that this hidden area will lose the beloved mural as part of the improvement project. While I despise the senseless tags left on storefronts and private property, I share their concern. It’s a completely secluded area and not visible from any thoroughfare, pedestrian or otherwise. Someone took the liberty of beautifying something that very few people see, and I commend that person for it.

Edna Metz Wells Park is still open, and its lovely trails still available for the nature-appreciating public.

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