Neighborhoods along the San Lorenzo River are painting the City of Santa Cruz’s first storm drain murals to increase awareness of how pollution and storm water travel along streets and sidewalks to the river and Monterey Bay.
The first of three murals was installed Sunday, June 2, on Pryce Street by local artist Ralph D’Oliveira who has collaborated with Pryce Street residents to design and paint the mural.
Community members of all ages and abilities are invited to join in the mural installation from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (with a 1-2 p.m. break) at 161 Pryce St. Art supplies will be provided by Ralph D’Oliveira who has installed more than 100 murals in California in his more than 40-year career. Attendees should come dressed to paint. Refreshments will be provided.
Storm drain murals draw attention to the system of gutters and underground pipes that transport storm water runoff from City streets into waterways and the ocean. Storm water entering drains flows directly into rivers, creeks and the Monterey Bay without being treated.
The City of Santa Cruz’s Storm Water Management Program works to reduce the amount of pollutants discharged in storm water runoff. In collaboration with environmental nonprofit Coastal Watershed Council and local artists and residents, the City’s upcoming storm drain murals are a creative effort to prevent pollution and engage City residents in pollution prevention.
Over the past year, the Coastal Watershed Council, with support from the City of Santa Cruz, has engaged residents and local artists in trash cleanups and community meetings to develop designs for storm drain murals in their neighborhoods.
In addition to the Pryce Street project, artist Irene Juarez O’Connell has designed a storm drain mural to be installed at the storm drain in Beach Flats Park and artist Daniel Velasquez has designed a storm drain mural to be installed at the storm drain at the cul-de- sac on Felker Street.
The murals will be installed at community painting days later this summer, similar to the June event on Pryce Street.
Storm drain murals are made possible thanks to the City of Santa Cruz Public Works Department, the Coastal Watershed Council, the City of Santa Cruz Arts Commission, artists Ralph D’Oliveira, Irene Juarez O’Connell and Daniel Velasquez, local residents, Arts Council Santa Cruz County, the City of Santa Cruz Economic Development Department and the Rose Foundation for Communities and Environment.