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Love to paint? Want to help protect our local rivers and streams? The City of Kingsport Stormwater Department, with the help of the Office of Cultural Arts, is seeking local artists and creative minds to paint up five storm drains in the downtown area to raise awareness about the importance of protecting our rivers, stream habitat, and aquatic wildlife.

To enter the contest:
• Send a color sketch of your proposed artwork around a storm drain. Artwork should be roughly 2’x4′.
• Artwork may include the street, sidewalk or both.
• Text is encouraged to convey the educational stormwater message.
• Be sure to include your name, phone number and email.

The deadline to submit entries is August 1. The winners will be selected by August 17. The five winning artists will receive $100, along with bragging rights for participating in the first annual storm drain art contest!

Sponsors for this contest are all local businesses and include Bank of Tennessee, Kingsport Imaging and Now or Never Tattoo Gallery.

The artists will each receive one quart of red, yellow, blue, white and black. Artists must be available to start painting the first week of September and artwork must be complete by September 16. Please see bottom of the press release for links to the artwork application, FAQs and rules.

“These murals will help raise awareness of the importance of storm drains and their connection to our rivers,” said Amanda McMullen, stormwater quality control technician for Kingsport Public Works. “Pollutants such as oil, trash, and pet waste are harmful to our water quality and aquatic life.”

What is Stormwater?
As Kingsport grew, the ground became covered with asphalt, concrete and buildings. Without realizing it, an important part of the water cycle was disturbed. Instead of rain naturally filtering into the ground, it flows over roofs, driveways and streets as stormwater. Stormwater can pick up pollutants and transport them into local waterways via the storm drain system. Pollutants include everyday items like pesticides or fertilizers in our yards, oil in our cars, and even soap. When introduced into the waterway, pollutants have a harmful effect on aquatic life and the health of our rivers.

For more information on the storm drain art contest and stormwater in Kingsport, please click the link here.