Ten local artists are painting storm drain inlets in Lincoln this week to promote protection of water and the environment. The UpStream Art-Lincoln project, organized by the Watershed Management Division of the Public Works and Utilities Department, was created to emphasize that storm drains lead directly to local waterways. The artists will be working through Sunday, July 23.
"This project uses art to communicate the function and importance of storm drains," said Erin Kubicek, the UpStream Art-Lincoln Coordinator with Watershed Management. "The inlets usually go unnoticed, but we hope to draw attention to them so observers stop and think about where the water goes after it enters a storm drain."
Some turning lanes in the project areas may be partially closed for the safety of the artists. Motorists are asked to proceed with caution in those areas. The artists and locations include:
The artwork incorporates the phrase "Only Rain in the Drain," either by itself or as part of a longer message. The artists are using acrylic paint and Seal-Krete concrete sealer provided by Watershed Management. Additional artist information, along with photos of the storm drains, will be provided once the artwork has been completed.
In conjunction with the event, Keep Lincoln and Lancaster County Beautiful (KLLCB) is organizing volunteers to mark storm drains with "No Dumping-Drains to Creek" message as part of the KLLCB Stormwater Awareness Program (SWAP).
"These metal markers remind residents that litter, chemicals and other pollutants picked up by rainwater runoff go directly into our natural environment and not through the wastewater treatment plant process," said Willa DiCostanzo, the KLLCB coordinator with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. "The SWAP program helps educate residents about the importance of keeping local waterways clean and that only rain should go down the storm drain."
To volunteer, call KLLCB at 402-441-8641, email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete a volunteer application at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: KLLCB). More information about SWAP is also available at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: KLLCB) or by contacting Corrin Bemis at 402-441-8641 or email@example.com.