In July 2020, a mural artist painted a bold message on the side of a 16-story building in Honolulu to make a statement about the importance of voting. Immediately people started calling The Outdoor Circle wanting to know how such a billboard could be allowed in Hawai‘i where The Outdoor Circle worked to ban billboards over a hundred years ago!
As a result of this incident the Public Affairs Committee and TOC staff went to work researching and advocating for definitions, limitations and standards to make sure that outdoor murals enhance the built environment while protecting Hawai‘i’s natural beauty and scenic view planes.
Upon hearing our concerns, the artist kindly agreed to remove the mural in question for now. However, several additional large murals have been proposed or installed on public and private property within the last year highlighting the need for a policy framework to protect the scenic landscape from being overwhelmed with visual clutter the way many cities are overwhelmed with signs and billboards competing for public attention.
TOC’s Board has amended our Public Policy Positions to add our support for limits on the placement and number of outdoor murals to ensure that individually and collectively they aesthetically enhance the built environment while protecting Hawai‘i’s natural beauty, scenic view planes and urban view corridors. Additionally, TOC advocates for protecting the tranquility and natural beauty of public parks and recreational areas.
Kathy Whitmire, Treasurer, The Outdoor Circle
Greenleaf is the online newsletter and blog of The Outdoor Circle. Here you will find updates on the projects and accomplishments of our many branches throughout the state, as well as programs with statewide impact.