Green Art at Your Feet
Fish, frogs, and giant claws have taken over downtown Columbia, but mid-Missourians can rest easy—the unlikely sights aren’t getting in the way. They’re painted onto the city’s storm water drains as a part of new eco-friendly art murals that are greening up Columbia’s sidewalks.
In total, nine storm water drains in downtown Columbia are being transformed as part of a collaboration between the city and Thumper Entertainment, the group that runs the annual Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival. The main goal of the project is to help people understand that storm water drains are not sewer
drains. Mike Heimos, Stormwater Educator for the city, said he also hopes the project educates the public about how the storm drain system works.
One current problem is that a lot of people may not realize that anything that goes into storm drains end up in creeks around the area. KOMU 8 recently highlighted some of these problems in a story you can see here.
The city has already worked to make visiting all nine decorated storm drains easy by creating an online map, which you can view here. In fact, I used the map with my phone when I went in search of the storm drains and it took me only 20 minutes to visit and take pictures of each one, which we posted onto our Flickr page and are in a slideshow below.
Don’t worry if you don’t have time in the next couple weeks to check out the storm drain art murals because the educational displays are here to stay. In fact, Heimos told KOMU 8 that he hopes to expand the project and one day get artists to decorate more storm drains all over Columbia.
Artist Information from the City of Columbia:
Locus Street: Maura Mudd
Cherry & Fourth Streets: Jenny McGee
Cherry Street: Dennis Murphy
Fifth & Cherry Streets: Rodger Francis
Fifth & Cherry: Deborah Zemke
Seventh & Elm Streets: Mike Sleadd
Elm & Ninth Streets: Ben Chlapek
Elm & Ninth Streets: Lisa Bartlett
Elm & Sixth Streets: Jane Mudd