A new track for tykes on trikes in Lone Pine

Jon Klusmire
Register Correspondent

Tykes on trikes will be tooling around a new track when they return to pre-school and kindergarten in Lone Pine this fall.
The new tricycle track at Lo Inyo Elementary School got a colorful overhaul during the pandemic shutdown. The big square track lets kids pedal over and around a number of transportation-related signs and stops, ranging from rockets to trains to planes. And in one section, animal tracks lead the way.
Mt. Whitney Preschool teacher Mandy Kemp had the original vision to revamp the school’s little tricycle track by adding some fun educational elements. She started a fundraiser and parents and other Lone Pine folks quickly donated the money to make the improvements.
Next came Darwin artist Judyth Greenburgh to bring the idea to life.
“I feel honored to be given the job to paint this. It was fun to put myself in the mind of a 4-year-old,” Greenburgh said. “I painted it during the COVID lock down – unfortunately the kids couldn’t come back to school but it gave me ample time to create something. It was the perfect job for a lockdown!” Greenburgh said while discussing the project at socially distant unveiling of the track. Martin Powell built the little railroad ramp and the school maintenance and grounds staff also helped with the project, she added.
Greenburg has completed several mural-sized works in the area, with the most recent being one the side of the Luxe Salon in Bishop. But for this project, she used a unique paint.
“I used traffic zoning paint – PPG the manufacturer says this is the first time it’s been used for more than lines on roads!” she said. “It’s quite difficult to paint with but hopefully can withstand the elements.”
When the track was completed, a few kids came by for a test run.
Coming off the trike rack with their rides, kids will be directed down a blue, one-way street, passing a rocket on a nearby school building wall. Turning a corner, they will navigate a cross-walk that allows pedestrians to cross the track when walking from the swings inside the track to the nearby playground equipment. Then they pick and follow animal tracks – raccoon, rabbit, deer, duck, squirrel – to the next corner, which features those furry friends in a mural. Then they get on the railroad tracks and move over the little bridge.
At the corner, they are greeted with an airport control tower, complete with wind sock, a little weather station and farmers market stand featuring colorful, fruits and vegetables. Then they take off back to the start, going through clouds and blue skies.
As one of the project’s supporters said at the unveiling, “It’s time to cheer for some good news that will great the preschoolers and kindergarten students when they return to class.”