Right off the bat, I'll just say this because looking in my crystal ball, I can see everyone pointing out all of the places OTHER than the Dover Community Trail that I'm about to talk about that have graffiti on them (like Garrison Hill Tower -- I'm pretty sure I vaguely remember some on the very top of the tower and other areas as you walk up). I know that's what happens. Heck, Dover Police Chief Bill Breault mentioned the Problem Oriented Police Officer and the Downtown Liaison Officer patrol the trail and other areas looking for graffiti (and trash) to report to the City Community Service Department to arrange clean up.

But based on the post that I came across on The (un)Official City of Dover, NH Facebook Group -- it looks a lot of the graffiti pictured in the post (some of which I have in this article) happened over the spring. Now, think about what else happened in the spring -- the pandemic picking up steam and quarantining becoming a thing.

So, using my Salem High School (the one with Canobie Lake, not the witches) deductive reasoning skills, basically some people got bored during quarantine and decided the best way to fill their time was to go and spray paint random stuff on random areas in one of the best cities in the state?

Dirk Shearer

Here's the thing, and this one may throw you for a loop since I'm all HOW DARE SOMEONE DISGRACE THIS BEAUTIFUL NATURE TRAIL WITH GRAFFITI! WHAT DISRESPECT THIS IS! -- This graffiti? It actually LOOKS cool. I actually think graffiti designs look INCREDIBLE. Like, it takes some serious artistic talent to be able to pull it off and make it look like actual talent and not just spray paint.

You know that huge mural on the side of the Ear Craft Music store downtown that faces First Street? Or the one on the side of the building that faces the parking lot on Orchard Street? Why can't we do something like that elsewhere? Why can't we make it organized graffiti instead of graffiti that just makes something as beautiful as a nature trail look trashy? Clearly, whoever is doing this is looking for some creative outlet -- why not give them an actual canvas so they can show off their skills that can be admired instead of looked at as a negative?

I'm not trying to be the over-positive hype man, but I feel like no one loses in that situation. Our nature trails remain clean, artists have a huge canvas to paint on that's forever on display, and the entire community gets to admire it.

Dirk Shearer

I'm sure a tribute to Leighanne would carry way more meaning as part of a downtown mural than on a tree in a trail that won't be seen by a ton of people. Because sure, Leighanne is missed, but this message to her reeks of negative and brings on anger, because people see it as destructive. I'm not sure who Leighanne is, but I'm sure she deserves better than a tree.

Dirk Shearer
Dirk Shearer