The YouCan Corvallis mural, Walk Lightly In Time, is a complex, colourful design of an Oregon riparian landscape, giant geometric puzzle pieces, and layers of earth, formed over the millennia and embedded with fossils. The triangular, puzzle pieces symbolize the interconnectedness of the issue of climate change and the important role that each person, city, and country can play in working together to address and try to solve the challenge of the climate crisis.
The center section of the murals features the tracks of many living animal species, humans, and extinct dinosaur species. These tracks and human footprints are included to convey various messages to the public. One is that we are only one in a family of creatures that walk across this earth and we must share the planet with them. Another is that we must consider what kind of mark we leave, or in other words, what kind of carbon footprint we leave behind us as individuals, as a nation, and as a species. Another meaning embedded in the central puzzle piece of the mural is the message that most of earth’s species have gone extinct over the millennia, such as the dinosaurs, and it could happen to us as well. The dinosaur footprints are heading downward into extinction, while the tracks of living species are heading in the other direction, upwards into our common future. A future we can still create by working together to meet the challenges and threats of climate change, if each of us joins with our community to play our critical piece in the existential puzzle for the survival of human life, as we know it.