Alum Painting Mural for Wanakena Ranger School

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77-year-old Barry Nehr, paintbrush in hand, is giving something back to the Wanakena Ranger School he graduated from more than 40 years ago.

The retired U.S. Forest Service worker and noted artist has been volunteering his time to paint the 47 and a half foot long, 8 foot high breathtaking Adirondack mural on the wall of the main classroom at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

"The students walk into the class, or visitors, and they see a kind of a panaroma of the whole area here, the forest, the lake, the river," he said.
 
For Nehr, it's a labor of love in a place that had a big influence on his life and career.

"When I'm standing there looking at some colors on the wall, I'll decide then that I'll put a tree here, or that I'll put some colors here, or that I'll do this or that," Nehr said.
                                            
The picturesque wilderness scene is being painted by Nehr to coincide with the Ranger School's Centennial celebration which kicks off with the annual alumni reunion in August:
 
"This is his first visit back since he graduated, yet he wanted to come," said Ranger School Director Chris Westbrook.

"And he asked to do this, we didn't ask him, he said 'this is something I would like to do for the school,'" Westbrook said.

The Ranger School has had an exciting history with numerous accomplishments over the past 100 years.

"The great thing about Barry Nehr's mural is that it will be long lasting, and that students will be seeing that mural for many years to come," said Brad Woodward, who sits on the school's Centennial Committee.

While Barry Nehr has painted hundreds of wilderness and wildlife scenes as a hobby over the years, none are as special to his heart as this one.
 
"Of course, I love the forest, so that's what I paint," Nehr said.
 
His mural is a work in progress that will be viewed and admired for years to come.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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