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Celebrate Utah wildlife at 2nd Bonnie Ball Street Festival

Partners gather on anniversary of the first Utah Wildlife Walls mural to celebrate more animal art created since and more to come


For immediate release: September 26

, 2023

Contacts: Chris Peterson, artist, Gr8west@gmail.com

Brett Prettyman, Utah Wildlife Federation, tbprettyman@gmail.com

Jennifer Williamson, The Neighborhood Hive, Jennifer@olioskin.com

SALT LAKE CITY – There was a time when native Bonneville cutthroat trout thrived in the creeks and rivers coming out of the Wasatch Mountains, but it can be hard to find them now due to nonnative trout introductions and a loss of habitat.

Last year, artist Chris Peterson created a 120-foot interpretation of the trout on a west-facing wall of The Neighborhood Hive in east Salt Lake City. It is hard to miss Bonnie while driving past, and that’s the point.

Utah Wildlife Walls, created by the Utah Wildlife Federation and Peterson, wants to bring the wild creatures of our state to life in communities across the Beehive State with a goal of creating at least one wildlife mural in all 29 counties.

Bonnie was the first mural, and a celebration was held in her honor. Utah Wildlife Walls is celebrating two more completed murals in Utah (Midvale and Vernal), and more on the way Saturday, Sept. 30, again at The Neighborhood Hive at the 2nd Annual Bonnie Ball Street Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“To gather and celebrate our Bonneville cutthroat trout means to love Utah and everything Utah has to offer. Bonneville cutthroat trout swim our waterways, and small business lives in our communities,” said Jennifer Williamson, a co-owner of The Neighborhood Hive. “This all-ages community event is about local fish and wildlife and is the event where Utah Wildlife Walls started last year. Come help us celebrate Utah's wildlife, the three murals, and the statewide contest our grassroots network has accomplished since then Bonnie became a part of our daily lives.”

This year, the event includes a morning cleanup in Millcreek Canyon from 8:30-10 a.m. in partnership with Fish for Garbage. Volunteers will meet at Church Fork along the main canyon road. Volunteers will get free lunch at the Bonnie Ball event, as well as extra raffle tickets for prizes.

Dozens of vendors and nonprofits organizations will be on hand in addition to food trucks. Family-friendly activities include tying fishing flies, fly-fishing casting lessons, and trout cutout painting. Live music will provide a nice background vibe.

A traveling exhibit featuring art from the Celebrate Utah Wildlife contest held last spring will be displayed in the building.

Ken Sanders, founder of Ken Sanders Books, will read children's wildlife stories during the event.

“We only have one planet, and since we're the so-called dominant species, we're supposed to take care of it: the earth, the skies, the water, and not exploit and befoul them,” Sander said. “The rest of the animals on our planet cannot speak and articulate their needs, at least not in a language we can comprehend. That's our job. And so far we have done a piss-poor job of both. That's why we need the Bonnie Ball and folks like her.”

This event will also include some face-to-face encounters with actual wildlife species. In addition to our lovely Bonneville cutthroat trout that live onsite at the Neighborhood Hive, Hawkwatch will also be at Bonnie Ball 2 from noon to 2 p.m. with a live raptor. Rattlesnake Alert will be here with education snakes to talk about trail safety. Utah Cutthroat Slam will be here talking about native trout and signing people up to get out and earn the slam medallion.

Workshops will be led by Brooke Williams, (all-ages writing workshops), Sol Gonzalez (lino-cut printmaking) and Chris Peterson (trout portrait painting with live models).


For more information and times of the workshops visit: www.celebrateutahwildlife.org


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