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Greenway wall the target of graffiti

Someone sprayed graffiti on the Greenway side of the Grand Forks flood wall near downtown. (Grand Forks Herald/Lori Weber Menke)

The Grand Forks flood wall near downtown has been marked with graffiti, and it may be there to stay for the winter.

An unknown person used blue paint to write symbols and words on the Greenway side of the wall near the Chamber of Commerce building. The message included ZEO and LOL, but it's unclear why the words were painted on the wall, when it happened or what they meant.

Photos confirm the graffiti has been on the wall since Nov. 18 at the earliest. Greenway specialist Kim Greendahl was unaware of the graffiti, and Grand Forks Police Lt. Derik Zimmel was unsure if anyone had reported the incident to his agency.

Staff that are responsible for the Greenway typically use a special soap and a pressure washer to clean graffiti off of structures, but temperatures need to be above 40 degrees for it to work, Greendahl said.

"Once it starts to freeze, we can't get it off until the spring," she said, adding it's possible the paint could stick for the rest of the winter.

Graffiti incidents happen about four times a year, she said.

Zimmel encouraged residents who see graffiti around town to take photos of the paint and send them to the Police Department, along with the location of the graffiti and other information that could be helpful to investigators.

Greendahl echoed that sentiment, adding residents' eyes are the best tool in spotting graffiti so it can be cleaned.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

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