Amidst all the talk of building a wall in national news, local resident Bettina August is focused on one here in the heart of Hollywood instead.  August has launched the “Paint the Ugly Wall” campaign to beautify a mildew-ridden concrete wall on the north side of Sheridan Street east of I-95.

Her goal is to have a nautically-themed mural on the wall so that the 45,000 cars passing every day get a sense of the ocean off Hollywood Beach. The concept has been approved by the city commissioners and state transportation officials, but only if she can raise the money to pay for it.

“People in the neighborhood want to make their corner of Hollywood nicer,” August said.

The wall acts as a sound barrier for a neighborhood west of Oakwood Plaza but also serves as an inviting palette for graffiti, which has been painted over several times.

August and others in the community are working to raise $50,000 to pay for the mural. She wants the wall to show the underwater environment off Hollywood. It will include sea life and seawater.

“This is what you would see if you walked into the water,” August said.

She has set up a GoFundMe account and created a page on Facebook called “Paint the Ugly Wall” in hopes that it will help bring in donations for the project. Commissioners Richard Blattner and Kevin Beiderman are supportive of the project.

The Facebook page describes August’s vision for the mural when it’s done: “A person walking on the sidewalk would experience what it would be like walking into the sea. The individual could start at the east end of the wall with beach sand and surf and move into the light turquoise water and go deeper to the first reef past snorkelers, moving deeper past divers and sea life. The water gets deeper and bluer until the end of the wall is reached.”

Visit https://www.gofundme.com/paintthewall to donate to the effort.