Unless the streets are flooding, most of us walk right past storm drains every day and don’t think twice about the underground water highway they connect to. In Dane County, these storm sewer highways often travel to local waterways without being cleaned, carrying trash, soil and other pollutants to our lakes, rivers and streams. The Storm Drain Mural Program led by the Madison Area Municipal Stormwater Partnership and Dane County is working with local artists to use storm drains as a canvas to educate residents about stormwater pollution through art. The goal of these colorful murals is to capture the attention of those who pass by, help them understand where the stormwater that enters their storm drain flows and get them thinking about what they can do to “Keep It Clean”.
Now accepting applications for the 2024 Storm Drain Mural program. Applications due Feb. 15th, 2024.
We are teaming up with a local artist to add more storm drain murals to the landscape in 2024. Municipalities, organizations, schools or community groups located in Dane County that are interested in having a storm drain mural painted in their community are encouraged to apply. Applicants can select from two project options:
All mural supplies and painting costs are covered through this program. There is no cost to the applicant or municipality.
Who can apply? Municipalities, organizations, schools or community groups located in Dane County that are interested in having a storm drain mural painted in their community are encouraged to apply!
What location works best? One of the first things to consider is where to paint the mural. The goal of these murals is to get residents thinking about what they can do to keep our waters clean, so ideally, the murals will be located near an area with lots of foot or bike traffic to allow for maximum visibility. In addition, the storm drain should be surrounded by concrete, and located in an area that can be coned off for a day to paint.
Murals must be painted on public property; therefore applicants are required to work with their local municipality to obtain proper approvals before applying.
Forty murals have been painted across fifteen Dane Co. communities since 2018 and up to five additional murals will be painted in 2023. Some of these murals were designed with the help of local schools and/or community youth groups. The students first learned about stormwater pollution and solutions and then created designs for a mural in their community. Artists collected the student designs ideas and used them to create unique storm drain murals which students helped paint. The remaining murals were designed by local artists.
Check out all the designs and locations: