By MADISSON HEINL
Communications Specialist, Center for Lakes & Streams at Grace College
WARSAW — The Current Effects: Storm Drain Art Project unveiling is at 5:30 p.m. Friday, May 6, on First Friday in downtown Warsaw. This unveiling will reveal the art designs and locations of at least nine storm drains in Warsaw being painted by Grace College art students for the purpose of educating local residents about the importance of keeping local lakes and streams clean through mindfulness of local storm drains.
The Current Effects project is a collaborative effort of the Center for Lakes & Streams, Grace College, The City of Warsaw, and Urban Water Resources. Grace College art students painted community storm drains with images and designs depicting local and native lake species, the importance of water conservation practices, and the necessity of keeping local lakes and streams clean.
Over 2,200 storm drains are located throughout the city of Warsaw. Storm drains connect directly to local waterways, meaning that all water and other substances which flow to these drains, also flow to the Tippecanoe River as the final receiving waterbody, untreated. Water that drains to and flows out of storm drains does not get treated or sanitized before it reaches local lakes and streams.
The Current Effects project is an enriching and fun way to remind residents and visitors that local lakes and streams are directly affected by residents’ daily decisions. This project is unique in that it furthers the findings of scientific research through the medium of local arts and culture. Dr. Nate Bosch, director of the Center for Lakes & Streams, explained, “This project stems from research conducted on local lakes and streams. The Center for Lakes & Streams helps identify issues in lakes and streams that people might be unaware of and this project assists in showing residents that their personal choices affect the lakes.”
Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer also expressed why he thinks the Current Effects project is important to the city of Warsaw and the surrounding communities, “The city of Warsaw is excited to be collaborating in and supporting projects, such as Current Effects, that protect our local lakes. Current Effects not only highlights Warsaw as an environmentally-conscious community, but a local cultural hub as well. ”
Dr. Bill Katip, president of Grace College, also said of the Current Effects project, “The Current Effects project is a great example of Grace College students collaborating with the surrounding community to make an impact. This project shows not only Grace’s commitment to taking care of our environment, but our commitment to furthering the arts in our community.”
More information about this project, pictures, videos and a map of storm drain locations will be posted at lakes.grace.edu in the coming weeks. Unveiling and remarks will begin at 5:30 p.m. May 6, at center stage, located on Buffalo Street. City and local parking is available.
The Center for Lakes & Streams at Grace College conducts applicable research, engages and educates residents, and collaborates with other organizations in efforts to make the lakes and streams of Kosciusko County cleaner. For more information or to support their efforts, visit lakes.grace.edu.