Mural In Jamaica Plain Raises Awareness For Endangered Species In Mass.

Photo: Suzanne Sausville/WBZ NewsRadio

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The utility box near Washington street and Montebello road in Jamaica Plain isn't just any old box.

It features a mural, painted by Jamaica Plain resident Jovielle Gers, with four different endangered or threatened species. The mural portrays the red-bellied cooter turtle, piping plover bird, three-spined stickleback fish, and a type of flowering grass that are all local to Massachusetts.

Gers told WBZ's Suzanne Sausville that she feels very passionate about the project that she titled "Meet Your Neighbors".

"If we want to have a future world for our children, if we want a healthy planet, then it's necessary to change our worldview and not see species as dispensable," she said.

The red-bellied cooter is considered endangered at both the state and federal levels while the piping plover is considered threatened at both levels. The three-spined stickleback is only considered threatened at the state level and has no federal distinction. Ger said this fish can be found right in Jamaica Plain and is unique because it is the only freshwater variety of the fish.

"They're not in Jamaica pond, they're in a little pond around here," Gers said. "I may not disclose the exact location, but I'd say if you're out there looking, try not to harm any species you find."

Gers said she's hoping the mural will help bring attention to these species and help people see the importance of preserving them and other endangered animals.

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"If you start to lose one species it's the beginning of a whole fall for the rest of the species," Gers said. "When things shift out of balance, it's a problem for all of us."

WBZ's Suzanne Sausville (@wbzSausville) reports.

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