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Needham

New artwork replaces graffiti near Bay Colony Rail Trail

More than 75 Needham residents recently joined in a graffiti-removal project that was also aimed at promoting unity and kindness in the community.

The volunteers painted a mural on a 75-foot graffiti-tagged wooden fence bordering part of the Needham stretch of the Bay Colony Rail Trail. The artwork that now replaces the graffiti was based on a design by Megan Carleton, an expressive art therapist for Needham Youth and Family Services, created with input from young people in the community.

Though painted in a graffiti style, the mural contains positive messages of peace, inclusion, and respect. Carleton’s organization spearheaded the project with support from Needham departments and the Bay Colony Rail Trail Association.

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“Given the tensions that exist in our world today and Needham’s commitment to fostering a more welcoming and inclusive community, we believe this is exactly the kind of art project we should be bringing to the community,” said Sara Shine, director of Youth and Family Services, in a statement.

John Laidler can be reached at laidler@globe.com.