Ames gets more colorful with new projects from the Public Art Commission

Ordinary public infrastructure will take on more color in Ames. One for education and another simply for embellishment.

The Storm Drain Inlet pilot program is an effort to raise awareness of water quality through art. The city is asking residents to submit potential designs that will help educate the community about the importance of watersheds and the environment, according to a news release.

As storm sewers discharge into local streams, rivers and lakes, pollutants that enter storm sewers could contaminate the water. This contamination could come from certain fertilizers that homeowners use on their lawns, experts say.

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Submitted designs must connect storm drains, waterways and the environment to their impact on the people, animals and plants around them, according to the release. Artists who are approved can receive up to $250 in reimbursement for art supplies.

The Public Art Commission is also looking for artists of all ages, amateur or professional, to submit designs to decorate transformer boxes with vinyl wrap. Artists with chosen designs will receive a $100 honorarium.

More information about the projects can be found at The deadline for submitting drawings is February 15.

Danielle Gehr is a political and government reporter for the Ames Tribune. She can be reached by email at [email protected], by phone at (515) 663-6925 or on Twitter at @Dani_Gehr.

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