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Drain Artistry Beautifies, Informs

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

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Always critical but seldom beautiful, dozens of storm drains in Arkansas are getting an artistic boost designed to highlight their importance to the community.

Called UpStream Art, the initiative aims to educate the public about water quality and the significance of urban stormwater.

The project's next frontier is the University of Arkansas’ Fayetteville campus.

Storm drain

The UpStream Art project hopes to educate residents about issues surrounding water quality and the role urban stormwater plays.

Four of the university's storm drains will receive mural makeovers in the coming weeks, according to the project website. Seven more storm drains in surrounding communities will also be painted this year, the site says.

Pollution Education

Every day, litter, motor oil, cigarette butts, plastics and other contaminants flow into waterways through storm drains, causing problems for people and wildlife.

Storm drain

A storm drain near the Arkansas Razorbacks' football stadium will be painted as a part of the project.

“If residents understand that stormwater flows [untreated] to creeks, streams, rivers and lakes, then they will be more conscious of potential pollutants that can enter those waterways,” according to the project website.

The UpStream Art project, first launched in 2012, has coordinated the painting of 34 drain murals throughout the northwest Arkansas area—with city approval, of course.

This is the first time the university has participated in the program.

Information regarding the types of paints and sealers used on the projects was not immediately available Thursday (March 19).

4 New Murals

Four artists, out of 91 applicants, were hand-selected to adorn the storm drains on the university campus with murals. The artists are Randy Rust, Lee Porter, Paige Dirkson and Kate Barnes.

StormDrain Storm Drain

Launched in 2012, the UpStream Art project has coordinated the painting of 34 drain murals throughout northwest Arkansas.

“All four of the drains flow into Beaver Lake, which is our drinking water,” Jane Maginot, program associate of the university’s Cooperative Extension Service, told the student newspaper, The Arkansas Traveler.

Once the drains receive a proper power washing and the ground temperature reaches 45 degrees Fahrenheit, the artists will be able to realize their designs for the drains, she said.


Tagged categories: Concrete coatings and treatments; Concrete stains; Environmental Protection; Murals; North America; potable water; Program/Project Management; Sealers

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