Friday, January 6 | Submitted by Tiffany Frey
Last year James River Basin Partnership and the City of Springfield were proud to present Storm Drain Reveal to our community. This unique and engaging educational event, patterned off the successful Rain Barrel Reveal, utilized art to communicate the function and importance of our local storm drains. The project was featured by several local media outlets and gained national attention. We are pleased to announce that James River Basin Partnership and the City of Springfield have once again come together to create Storm Drain Reveal 2012. This exciting project gives artists the opportunity to express themselves with semi-permanent public art in the form of a small-scale outdoor storm drain mural. This project, along with the involvement of our vibrant art community, is unique and has a positive impact on water quality protection. If you are an artist and interested in showcasing your talent for Reveal, read on!
2011 Storm Drains
In Springfield, as in most cities across the country, storm drains lead to our rivers and other surface waters. An ongoing and hazardous misconception is that the storm drains are “sewers” that lead to the wastewater treatment plant. With this misconception, the storm drains are misused as a ‘safe’ way to dispose of waste such as soapy water, oil, paint, trash, and other pollutants. When pollutants are disposed of via storm drains, they end up in our waterways. Storm Drain Reveal is designed as a public education project to inform the community of the connection the storm drains have with our waterways.
In addition to the storm drain/surface water connection, the impact of impervious surfaces (roads, rooftops, parking lots), lawns, and our individual habits will be a focus of this project. Water is like a magnet and picks up everything in its path such as grease, oil, brake dust, anti-freeze, fertilizer, and pet waste. When it rains stormwater flows over parking lots, lawns and other surfaces. The water collects pollutants, which enter the storm drains and accumulate in our local streams. In downtown Springfield, the location of last year’s Storm Drain Reveal, the storm drains led to Jordan Creek. Jordan Creek is a tributary of Wilsons Creek, which flows into the James River, which in turn flows into Table Rock Lake. This is what we call a “watershed address” (http://www.springfieldmo.gov/stormwater/watershed.html). The quality of water in The James River and Table Rock Lake is at risk from excess nutrients causing algae growth. Increased algae causes issues such as green water and low oxygen levels affecting the health of fish and other aquatic species. To reduce pollution individuals can: direct downspouts away from driveways and streets (preferably to a rain garden, rain barrel or a bioswale), keep lawn clippings & leaves out of the streets, wash vehicles in a car wash or on the lawn, pick up pet waste, dispose of chemicals properly, fertilize your lawn properly and prevent bare soil from washing away. Good practices include the use of pervious surfaces, green roofs, rain gardens, rain barrels and cisterns, native landscaping, tree preservation and planting, and protection of natural areas for greenspace . These practices also reduce other negative impacts of excess runoff such as streambank erosion and aquatic habitat degradation, as well as promoting groundwater recharge to feed our springs, streams, and drinking water. For more information about stormwater pollution and these practices, visit www.springfieldmo.gov/stormwater and www.jamesriverbasin.com.
There are 10 storm drains identified for this project. We are asking artists to submit their ideas using the attached application. A committee of City and JRBP staff will choose 10 designs from those submitted. Keep in mind the messages we are trying to convey as you create your design. The artwork is anticipated to last for at least several years. We hope the murals will continue to raise awareness long after the initial planned events. Artwork can expand up to four feet on any one side of the storm drain if the conditions allow. There are a variety of storm drain locations this year that can be found on our website and on the application form. You have the option to create your design with one of the storm drains in mind or you may design a more general design that may work on any storm drain.
The storm drains will be power washed before the project begins thanks to a donation by Pressure Tech, LLC. The artist will be responsible to pick up orange cones from the City which they will be required to use during painting. The artist will also be given Seal-Krete Clear Coat to put on before and after the painting is done. Acrylic paints in basic colors will also be provided. On the application you will see deadlines for bio submittal and art completion. These deadlines are critical to the success of the project. Once the storm drain murals are completed, professional photos of each drain will be taken, blown-up and mounted. In 2011 these photos, along with the artist’s mounted bio, were displayed at May’s First Friday Artwalk in the Canvas Gallery on South Avenue and Saturday and Sunday at Artsfest on Walnut Street. Ten’s of thousands of people viewed the photos, bios and water quality information during these events. The public was encouraged to vote for a “People’s Choice” winner. It is anticipated that Storm Drain Reveal 2012 will work much the same at this. For the remainder of the month of May and likely through the rest of the year, the photos will hang in a local business. A flyer will also be created using the photographs and artists’ names and it will be distributed throughout the year. A variety of press releases, dedicated web pages social networking sites, and newsletter articles for the project will be utilized.
There are two storm drains that were painted a few years ago in Springfield by Knial Piper and Keaton Piper. This served as the initial inspiration for this project. They can be viewed at http://www.springfieldmo.gov/stormwater/galleries/art/index.html
Here is a link to the info and designs for Storm Drain Reveal 2011. This also has the updated info for 2012 as it becomes available.
The links below will lead you to other examples of painted storm drains from other areas of the country.
If you are an artist interested in participating and lending your time and talent please print the attached form, fill out and send to:James River Basin Partnership Tiffany Frey 901 S. National, PCOB Springfield, MO 65897 Fax:417-836-8879
You may scan and email your application to firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline to receive Application is February 27nd, 2012
Let the message and your artistic imagination run with this project. We are excited to see what ideas are out there!
Questions or concerns? Please email email@example.com or call 836-6183