UACES Facebook Calling all artists: Drain Smart UpStream Art needs volunteers
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Calling all artists: Drain Smart UpStream Art needs volunteers

By Ryan McGeeney
U of A System Division of Agriculture
August 15, 2018

Fast Facts:

  • Art will help inform public about water quality issues
  • Pollutants allowed to flow into storm drains can impair waterways

(332 words)
(Newsrooms: With additional art at https://flic.kr/s/aHskGeP9p5)

PINE BLUFF, Ark. - The Southeast Arkansas Stormwater Education Program is seeking artists to paint murals with educational messages on storm drains in Pine Bluff, White Hall, and Jefferson County as part of the Drain Smart UpStream Art project.

Drain Smart UpStream Art project

The project is a combination of two programs: UpStream Art and Drain Smart, which are carried out by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and Audubon Arkansas, respectively.

Over the past few years, both programs have worked in different areas of the state to increase awareness about storm drains, and address the common misperception that they channel runoff into water treatment facilities. The truth, said John Pennington, extension urban stormwater educator for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture in Jefferson County, is that the drains actually empty into creeks and streams, without any treatment whatsoever.

“This public misperception can harm water quality,” Pennington said. Potential pollutants like fertilizers, soil, yard waste and pet waste can impair surface waters throughout Arkansas.”

The Southeast Arkansas Stormwater Education Program is kick starting the Drain Smart Upstream Art program in Pine Bluff. The project will be funded and staffed through the Division of Agriculture; Audubon Arkansas will help display artwork through the Drain Smart website.

Through the Drain Smart UpStream Art project, artists will paint murals on storm drain infrastructure, communicating where the storm drain may empty — perhaps a creek, bayou or other waterway, Pennington said.

This public art and water quality awareness project, seeks to remind people that water entering storm drains will discharge untreated to local rivers and bayous.

 

“Good pollution management starts with awareness about the issues and prevention education,” Pennington said. “The goal of Drain Smart Upstream Art is to raise awareness of the function of storm drains, to help reduce the amount of pollution carried directly into the environment.”

Artists are invited to join the effort by submitting an application by September 18. Applications may be obtained by contacting the Jefferson County Extension Office at 870-534-1033 or jhpennington@uaex.edu.

 

About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system. 

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Media Contact: Ryan McGeeney
Communication Services
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2120
rmcgeeney@uaex.edu

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