Upper Snake Region fisheries enthusiasts,
Welcome to our February 2020 edition of our regional fisheries monthly newsletter. Most reputable people don’t go around sharing the news about the artwork they’ve accomplished in public restrooms, but that is exactly what this month’s newsletter is about! The Idaho Department of Fish and Game partnered with Friends of the Teton River, Teton Springs Foundation, and the Teton Regional Land trust to work with local artists to spruce up restroom interiors at a number of Teton River access sites. We would like to share this work with you and explain the rationale for pursuing it. To date, our partnership has re-faced six restrooms at five different river access sites including: Bates Bridge, Teton Creek, Rainey Bridge, Harrops Bridge, and Spring Hollow.
The reason this work was pursued was to deter vandalism in order to reduce maintenance costs at river access sites. Through savings, IDFG would then be able to use available funds to make additional improvements versus investing in repairs. We have seen an increase in toilet art. Most of it has not been so pretty in the privies! Painting over vandalism is costly, which led to our partnership looking for other options besides simply repainting the interiors white again. We tried to put a more positive spin on things by highlighting local artists’ and students’ handiwork. It gives the local community something to be proud of. We’ve also noticed that vandalism rates have decreased after the toilets have been improved, and working through partnerships, the cost of doing this artwork has been similar to costs IDFG incurred to re-paint toilets white.
Now it is time to check out some of the artwork. We think it is amazing, and we think you’ll see why vandalism rates have decreased. These amazing scenes were created by local artists Nicolette Maw (Harrops Bridge), Helen Seay (Spring Hollow, Bates Bridge and Teton Creek), Cheryl Joan Askagreen (one of the Rainey Bridge restrooms), and the Teton Arts Council with the help of several students from Teton High School’s Art department (other Rainey restroom).
We are excited by the results of this project, and have plans on finishing improving our toilets in the Teton Valley and expanding the work into different areas within the region such as the South Fork Snake River and the Big Lost. If someone has a creative touch or ideas fitting for these areas, we would love to hear from them. Helping us cut back on vandalism, while giving local communities a way to be connected and involved seems a worthy goal.
For more information or if you want to share your thoughts and ideas, please contact our Regional Recreation Site Maintenance Foreman, Darin Schneider at (208) 535-8005 or firstname.lastname@example.org