Mission Hills man carves the word ‘CLIMATE’ into yard in hopes of spurring action on environmental issues

Photo courtesy Rusty Leffel.
Photo courtesy Rusty Leffel.

Mission Hills resident, attorney and photographer Rusty Leffel has never been afraid to use the land adjacent to his home on Tomahawk Road for artistic expression.

For years, the space had a set of brightly painted trees that were illuminated by a flood light at night. More recently, he installed a piece of modern sculpture. And people who pass by the lot today will notice a new piece of what he calls “performance art.”

Using his lawnmower, Leffel carved the word “CLIMATE” in 12-foot letters. He said he hopes to message will keep climate change top-of-mind for northeast Johnson County residents.

“With Climate as such an overarching issue of our time, I hope this artistic expression will help people be reminded to keep active for our Climate and our Environment,” Leffel said.

It’s not the first time Leffel has used his yard as a canvas. For a number of years, he had the word “CONFORM” cut into a flat portion of the yard. He said that he was also considering writing “GUNS” or “NO GUNS” in the yard, but that he “didn’t like the vibe and the negative feeling we would have to live with.”

“[I’m] always considering [ideas],” he said. “A litter fertilizer and water and I can soon create a whole new project,” he said.