May 23, 2012

News Release

For Immediate Release

Laura Lynch Wins Storm Drain Mural Contest

storm drain painted with turtle and water

Laura Lynch's storm drain mural "River Mandala" was selected as the 2012 Storm Drain Reveal People's Choice Award Winner. The annual contest is sponsored by the James River Basin Partnership (JRBP) and the City of Springfield Public Works to increase awareness about the connection between storm drains and waterways. The winning storm drain is located at Commercial and Boonville Ave.

Lynch is a local artist who has been drawing and painting since she was a child. She mainly works on wood and recycled or reclaimed objects and is very interested in the environment and teaching others to respect and care for the earth. This is Lynch's second year to participate in Storm Drain Reveal and she was previously part of JRBP's Rain Barrel Reveal.

"I love to participate in this project to contribute to public awareness," Lynch explained. "It is a lot of fun for me while I'm out painting on the storm drain to be able to talk to people about it. Most people are surprised when I tell them that the storm drain leads directly to fresh water supplies instead of going to a treatment plant. When they do know about it they usually thank me for the effort. It is gratifying to be able to help a program that positively impacts our environment."

Photographs of the storm drain art were displayed recently at the First Friday Artwalk, May 4, and at Artsfest on historic Walnut Street, May 4-6. The public was invited to vote on their favorite mural during those events. The goal of the displays was to raise awareness that storm drains lead directly to our streams and rivers. Soapy water, litter, yard waste and other pollutants that end up in storm drains can impact water quality. Storm water runoff can also pick up and carry pollutants from the landscape such as excess lawn fertilizer, pet waste andsediment from construction sites.

The project is part of ongoing efforts by the City and JRBP to raise awareness about the impacts of storm-water pollution and how individuals can help protect water quality locally and downstream. Springfield is uniquely situated on a plateau that encompasses two major watersheds: the James River and the Sac River. Many of the storm drains selected for murals this year drain to Jordan Creek or Fassnight Creek which drains to the James River and eventually Table Rock Lake. A storm drain near Hillcrest High school drains north to the Sac River and Stockton Lake.

The winning artist will be presented with a plaque and a check at the storm drain at 2 p.m., Thursday May 24. The photographs will be on display soon at Big Momma's Coffee & Espresso Bar followed by various other venues throughout the year. The address of all storm drain murals locations, along with artist bios and other information is available at www.jamesriverbasin.com.

For more information, contact Tiffany Frey, James River Basin Partnership, at tfrey@missouristate.edu or 836-6183; or Carrie Lamb, City of Springfield Department of Public Works, at clamb@springfieldmo.gov or 864-1996.

Download Laura Lynch's bio (pdf).

city of springfield

Department of Public Works

840 Boonville Avenue • P.O. Box 8368 • Springfield, MO 65801
417-864-1900 • springfieldmo.gov