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By Ryan McGeeney U of A System Division of AgricultureAugust 15, 2018
(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.
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
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
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 email@example.com.
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.
# # #
Media Contact: Ryan McGeeneyCommunication ServicesU of A System Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) firstname.lastname@example.org