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Ribbon cutting celebrates Prado Dam bicentennial mural restoration

Fri, 02/06/2023 - 05:00

CORONA, CA – After years of weathered decay, several months of multiple agencies coming together, and five hundred gallons of paint, the vibrant red, white, and blue hues of the Prado Dam Bicentennial Mural are restored. Supporters celebrated the completed mural with a ribbon cutting event on June 2.

The ground-breaking event for the mural restoration was held Sept. 8, 2022. Today marks the completion of the project.

To bring the project to fruition, several government agencies and community organizations came together to return the iconic Inland Empire landmark to a better state. Led by Supervisor Karen Spiegel and the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, months of planning among key partners resulted in a plan for the removal of the lead-based paint from 1976 and a game plan to pave the way for the new, non-toxic paint.  

Key agencies also included the Riverside County Regional Park & Open-Space District, Bicentennial Freedom Mural Conservancy, Friends of the Prado Dam Mural, United States Army Corps of Engineers, and substantial support from U.S. Representative Ken Calvert.

Inland Empire, residents, visitors, and commuters can now spot the newly painted Prado Dam Bicentennial Mural while traveling along the 91 and 71 Freeways.

“The Prado Dam Bicentennial Mural symbolizes our region’s history and resilience,” said Second District Supervisor Karen Spiegel. “The restoration project, which perfectly captures the original red, white, and blues, is a testament to our commitment to preserving our heritage and ensuring that future generations can appreciate the beauty and significance of this landmark. We are grateful to the talented painters and look forward to celebrating this important endeavor.”  

To resolve a leasing limitation that prevented the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from working directly with the Bicentennial Freedom Mural Conservancy, Supervisor Spiegel supported the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District’s effort to act as an intermediary. Congressman Calvert supported the effort by advocating for the partnership and securing the funding that allowed the Army Corps of Engineers to remove the original lead-based paint mural safely.  

With the land leases arranged and lead-based paint removed, the Bicentennial Freedom Mural Conservancy raised $150,000 in donations to contract One Way Painting to execute the restoration. The mural design was held to the original “200 Years of Freedom,” originally painted in 1976.

“This project would not have been possible without the generosity of our community, and we are thankful for every donor as well as the various government agencies and officials for their contributions," said Jackie Cherrington-Pierson, Treasurer of the Bicentennial Freedom Mural Conservancy. “We are proud of the effort invested in restoring this beloved mural and hope it brings great joy again to the region and others who can view it.”

The original mural was completed on June 17, 1976, by 20 girls and 10 boys from Corona High School to celebrate our nation’s bicentennial. The mural spans 76,800 square feet and is roughly six times the size of Mount Rushmore.

To learn more about the Prado Dam bicentennial mural restoration, visit: or contact Peter Usle at [email protected].

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