On April 17, Western Albemarle High School (WAHS) Leadership classes organized their annual “WAHS With a Cause” day, when students can sign up for a range of community service projects. Nine students, accompanied by two teacher chaperones, volunteered to whitewash the Crozet Connector Trail tunnel that runs under Eastern Avenue, which had attracted some unwanted graffiti since Albemarle County built it in 2019. One of the Trails Crew supervisors was local artist Gincy Carrington Plummer, who was inspired by this blank canvas to paint beautiful butterfly murals on both tunnel entrances. She has been working on the project ever since, as the weather and her schedule allows.
“I have created photo op butterflies on the east side of the tunnel for both adults and little people traversing the trails. The west side has the life cycle of butterflies, with swallowtails on the left and monarchs on the right,” said Plummer. While working on Memorial Day, Plummer met veteran Paul Pearce walking the trail, who had served our country in the U.S. Air Force. “It is so fun that he is the first to be photographed with the new butterfly mural,” she said.
When the Plummer family moved to Crozet from Park City, Utah, in 2017, she and her husband—both UVA alums—looked for ways to get involved in the community. Having been active in trail work there, Michael Plummer decided to join the Crozet Trails Crew (CTC), of which he is now vice president. Artist Gincy Carrington Plummer worked with Henley students to plan and execute their mural design at Pro Re Nata during a summer program a few years ago. When the CTC began looking for a mural artist for the Eastern Ave. tunnel, Gincy was the logical choice.
WAHS students who participated in painting the tunnel include Sandra Mendez Ambroci, Valeria Cruz Cardona, Ciera Hanning, Caleb Harris, Cole Hughes, Davis Kauffmann, Julia Saurborn, Monica Stan, and Damian Valdepena.
You can access the trail tunnel and the butterfly murals from the trail entrance beside 515 Jonna Street in Westhall, or from the Leon Lane cul-de-sac in Foothill Crossing.