HICKORY, N.C. — A collaborative community beautification initiative has been unveiled at two Hickory parks in an attempt to prevent littering and promote environmental protection.
Keep Catawba Beautiful and the City of Hickory unveiled the results of their Only Rain in the Storm Drain Contest on Wednesday.
Officials say the Storm Drain Contest invited local artists to submit sketches of art murals designed to bring attention to the storm drains along the roads and parking lots within the parks.
Both parks chosen for this project border a waterway and can sometimes suffer from litter issues due to their popularity for picnics and outdoor sports, according to a news release.
Officials remind everyone that storm drains do not filter through a water treatment plant, but instead funnel runoff back unto the river system, this causes parking lot and road litter to wash directly into the environment.
Officials hope the new art will serve as an eye-catching reminder to visitors to keep help keep parks clean.
“We hope these pieces of art inspire residents to keep our parks beautiful and free of debris,” said Ariel Kanupp, executive director of Keep Catawba County Beautiful, the project’s principal organizer. “As visitors to the parks walk by these storm drains, they will serve as fun reminders of how important it is to protect and beautify our environment and encourage proper trash disposal.”
Officials say two drains were painted within Glenn C. Hilton park by middle school student Tristan Reimers and the local artist and graphic designer Kendra Williford.
These artists designed drains that featured species local to the Catawba Valley river basin, such as otters, ducks, and pickerel frog.
Officials say four other drains were painted within Henry Fork River park by art students from Fred T. Foard High School, Jocelyn Main, Katlyn Causey, Tayler Revis, and Carmen Kite.
They also designed drains with local aquatic species and worked with their art teacher, Tammy Lutz, on a coordinating theme for the park.
The public is encouraged to take photos with the storm drains and share the message of environmental protection.