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    New open air art exhibit in Lander now up

    (Lander, WY) – Hikers and bikers running along the Barney Trail, located along the Middle Popo Agie River between Main Street and Canyon Street, can expect to spot a grizzly bear – safely – thanks to a new mural by Wyoming-based artist Patricia Griffin.

    Titled “Bella Rosa,” the artwork depicts a female bear standing amid colorful wildflowers and berries. The mural, sponsored by The Nature Conservancy, is part of the Jackson Hole Public Art’s annual WildWalls street art event. “Bella Rosa” is the first WildWalls mural exhibited outside the Jackson community. A similar print also recently went on display in Cody.

    On a sign alongside the mural, viewers can read about how The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming is studying how warmer temperatures drive wildflowers to bloom earlier. That has an impact on the insects that pollinate them as well as other wildlife – like grizzly bears – that depend on berries, nuts, and other plant foods to stay nourished and put on fat for the winter. In some cases, plants are blooming more than a month earlier than they were half a century ago – well ahead of when bees, butterflies and other pollinators are ready to pollinate them.

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    In addition to viewing the artwork, those walking the trail can scan a code with their phones to watch an augmented-reality video that explains how the changing bloom times are affecting wildlife.

    To learn more about WildWalls, visit https://jhpublicart.org/art/wildwalls23. To learn more about what The Nature Conservancy is doing to address our warming climate visit nature.org/warmerwyoming

    Thanks to Stinky Prints in Jackson for support of this project.

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