Painting a brighter picture for waterFifth grade students from Northern Lights Elementary School left a lasting message for the community Monday. Using spray paint and door hangers, they spread the word about keeping water clean.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Fifth grade students from Northern Lights Elementary School left a lasting message for the community Monday. Using spray paint and door hangers, they spread the word about keeping water clean.
“We let them know to not litter and put it down the drain,” said Anna Johnson.
With paint and stencils, they left the words “Do Not Dump, Drains to Stream” near storm drains in the neighborhood. As they walked along, they hung fliers on door handles encouraging people to keep things clean. The students had a clear goal.
“To help stop the people littering,” said Jessica Stumps.
“To make them more watchful of what they’re putting on the streets and what’s going down the storm drain,” Anna said.
“So it doesn’t lead to the lake and get it all polluted,” said their classmate Ruby Rocheleau.
Even dirt, rocks and plant matter, which is natural, should not be swept into storm sewers.
“Because it goes straight to Lake Superior and it makes the water quality less,” Anna said.
The Northern Lights fifth-graders took a trip to the city wastewater treatment plant earlier this spring, so they know where storm water and sewer water ends up.
“It smelled nasty there,” Anna said.
After spraying on the first message Monday, the students started mixing paint to leave multicolored signs on the street. Jillian Edwards with the environmental They ran ahead to hang door fliers and some stopped to pick a few dandelions. And they set out “Conan” the construction cone before venturing out into the street.
Keeping storm drains clear of debris and litter is one way to keep Superior clean. Using rain barrels and compost bins can also help decrease waste and recycle water. The city still has a limited number of rain barrels, compost bins, and kitchen collectors available to order. For more information, call 715-394-0392 or visit www.ci.superior.wi.us/sale to download an order form. The items will be available to pick up from 12:30-7 p.m. on June 11 at Wessman Arena.
Although the students covered a wide area, city of Superior Environmental Services Division staff are still looking for volunteers and groups to help stencil storm drains. The city would like to mark 200 storm drains this summer to keep the waterways and Lake Superior cleaner. The division will provide all the supplies needed to mark the drains.
Two public times have been set up for the stenciling project — 9 a.m. June 13 in the Fairlawn Mansion parking lot and 1 p.m. July 18 at the Central Park west side pavilion. Individuals and groups are welcome, but children must be 9 years or older. The city is also willing to work with groups to find a time that works for them.
Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to RSVP so the city has enough materials on hand. Call 715-394-0392 ext. 1041, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.