In a world that has been turned upside down by COVID-19, some community efforts are continuing, including a large mural project on the Chester Creek Rail Trail, near the trail’s current northern terminus in Middletown Township, Delaware County, PA.

This 450-foot long retaining wall (located between Lenni and Lungren Roads) will soon feature a vibrant mural by a nationally-renowned artist, although getting to this point has required the efforts of many people.

The mural project was envisioned by two local non-profits, the Friends of the Chester Creek Branch (supporters of the Chester Creek Trail), and the Rockdale Arts District, a collaborative community of local artists in Aston and Middletown Townships. After interviewing a number of artists, and getting estimates for traditional murals for a project of this magnitude costing up to $75,000, it became apparent that the best choice was an artist who lives just blocks from the trail, Jay Walker, a Philadelphia multi-disciplinary artist whose work can be seen at the Philadelphia Airport and elsewhere.

Other key collaborators include SEPTA, who permitted use of the wall for a mural, the McKee Group, who generously provided seed funding, and the Delaware County Parks Department, who maintains the trail and cleaned and prepared the wall for painting. Despite a temporary pandemic shutdown, Nolan Painting’s senior leadership team will fill and prime the enormous wall as a pro bono effort, using paint donated by Sherwin-Williams. We’re also grateful for the support of Middletown and Aston Townships and the Delaware County Planning Department, who are working on trail extension projects on both ends of the current 2.8 mile trail.

Painting of the base coat and the mural itself will begin in June 2020, if the weather cooperates. If you are one of the thousands of residents who use the Chester Creek Trail, watch for this work to begin soon, and visit or for updates and sponsorship opportunities.