Stormwater Public Arts

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Michael St Germain painting his stormwater arts project on Clay StreetThe Town of Blacksburg is seeking design submissions for a new round of murals to be painted on storm drains around town. The storm drain mural project is centered around raising awareness of our local waterways and the ecological communities that depend on them. There is a common misconception that the water from storm drains goes through a treatment process. To the contrary, leaking automotive chemicals, pet waste, sediment, and litter all go directly into underground aquifers and streams diminishing our water quality directly. Even natural materials like leaves and grass clipping do damage by creating blockages in the storm drain infrastructure which can increase the risk of surface flooding. View the completed murals from previous years, learn about the artists, and view videos about the project. 

Artists over the age of 18 are invited to submit a design to raise public awareness of the choices (and changes) we can all make to restore the health of our local waterways while addressing one or more of these themes: 

  • The Town of Blacksburg’s Freshwater Heritage
  • The Protection of Stroubles Creek
  • New River Watershed’s Natural Beauty: local wildlife, healthy habitat & natural beauty

A committee of judges will select designs that are graphically bold with clear messages and potential to engage multiple audiences.  Artists will receive a $350 stipend for their completed works. Additional detail on design guidelines and a design template can be found below.

For additional information:

Kafi Howard, Town Engineer

Carol Davis, Sustainability Manager

Will Lattea, Town Energy & Environmental Specialist


Application materials

2020 Storm Drain Murals Design Competition Guidelines (PDF)

Storm Drain Design Concept Template (PDF)

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