Warsaw Board of Public Works and Safety approved a storm drain art project. Theresa Sailor, stormwater coordinator, presented the proposal this morning. It was met with excitement and unanimous approval.
The memorandum of understanding, approved by the board, is with Grace College and the Center for Lakes & Streams. The memorandum outlines the collaboration efforts for the project in the spring of 2016 to increase awareness of the community’s storm drains and the direct connection to waterways and wildlife habitats.
The storm drains to be decorated will be predominately downtown, with a couple heading toward Central Park. Additional sites could be added.
During the spring 2016 semester, art students from Grace College, under the direction of Cynthia Bryan, will research the habitats of the waterways where selected storm drains lead. The students will then paint a design on the sidewalk and pavement around the drain to educate the public on the habitat where a specific storm drain leads.
The Center for Lakes & Streams will direct the public education effort by working with Grace College students to develop educational materials to engage the public in discovering the beauty of the storm drain art and understand its purpose.
Sailor noted this project is part of meeting permit requirements by the state for public education and is a part of celebrating Indiana’s bicentennial year. The Center for Lakes & Streams will also lead the promotion of the project, including as a destination on Indiana’s bicentennial celebration activities.
Additional details will be provided in an event hosted by the Center for Lakes & Streams, Grace College and the city of Warsaw prior to the 2015 Lakes Festival. The “2016 Storm Drain Art” preview will be revealed as part of that festival celebration.
The board of works approved the expenditure of $2,200 for the project, $500 payable in 2015 and the remaining amount paid in 2016. The cost will include the purchase of art supplies and materials.
The city will handle all necessary permits, approvals, selection of storm drains, instruction and removal of the artwork. Sailor stated there will be painting tests conducted to determine the best product to use and test removal procedures. The goal is to have the artwork remain for 180 days.
Examples of creations in Springfield, Mo., which has used local artists apply to paint the drains in a contest were provided. Sailor noted that to her knowledge no Indiana community has done a painting project like this. LaPorte used a student art project to place as wraps on inlet structures two years ago.