LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Local students teamed up with La Crosse and Onalaska police officers to clean up graffiti.
It may sound more like work than play, but its part of "P.L.A.Y. week" at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse.
"P.L.A.Y." stands for "Participating in the Lives of Area Youth," and organizers say projects like the Graffiti Bust give kids a better idea of what police officers do.
"Playing with them, like doing activities with them--I think that a lot of kids don't get opportunities to do that with police officers," said Kamry Long of the Boys & Girls Club. "I think it's really positive because they've been doing a lot of different stuff."
The bust is an annual summer event where kids paint over graffiti along the Highway 16 bike trail near County Road B. Police say events like these help to slow the spread of graffiti.
"This way, it gets painted over. People won't feel that because there is some graffiti there that they can add more graffiti to it," said Heath Graves of the La Crosse Police Department.
Police also have to contend with the idea that some of the kids like the way the graffiti looked. Officers view the clean-up as an opportunity to teach kids why graffiti is wrong.
"They could be at other places and having fun while instead they're here ruining other people's property," said 6th grader Meshell.
"Spray painting, graffiti is a form of art. Just not when you do it on other people's property," said 8th grader Brandyn.
The kids say it's hard work, but it's not so bad for a few simple reasons.
"We get to hang out with our friends, do some painting," said 6th grader Donald. "We learn lots of new things about our environment."
The kids used about 15 gallons of paint at the Graffiti Bust.
The DNR donated all the supplies for the project.
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