Article on Zach Bird- One of the Panelists at GU’s Sustainability Forum

Check out Inquirer Article on one of the panelists for GUCDC’s Sustainability Forum

Germantown resident turns cleanup artist

By Karen Heller, Inquirer Columnist

POSTED: April 08, 2013
Zack Bird paints walls. He does pretty well creating murals and faux finishes for Palm steak joints across the country, and in some of the nicer homes across the region.

Bird has a second, stealth job unpainting walls.

Specifically, he paints over graffiti on walls and bridges in public spaces, along the river drives, and in the Wissahickon, “the thing I love most about Philadelphia.” Call it faux unfinishing.

It’s his one-man beautification project. Instead of Lady Bird, we have Zack Bird.

“I’m just doing my little part,” said Bird, 43, the son of two artists, who grew up in Mount Airy and now resides one neighborhood over in Germantown. “How can you grow up near the Wissahickon and not be entranced with the stonework?”

So this is a story that reveals how one person doing one thing is helping the city and making our lives better.

Bird has taken his talent and applied it, literally, for free to restoring what was. “I don’t want to compete with graffiti artists, although the art hasn’t developed much in the last 20 years,” he said. “But I want it out of the parks. It’s an eyesore. They’re vandals, not artists. There’s nothing cool about defacing other works of art and public property.”

Since December, Bird has completed a dozen reclamation projects, along Kelly and Lincoln Drives, a retaining wall near Cresheim Creek,

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