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Springfield murals will discourage water pollution

Nathan Wilk
Tattoo artist and painter Marlis Badalich, whose design spills off of the sidewalk and into a nearby storm drain.

New sidewalk murals in downtown Springfield will discourage stormwater pollution.

The Upstream Art Project marks the locations of storm drains, which can carry untreated litter into nearby rivers. This is the program’s seventh year.

Painting began on July 28, with five artists chosen from a pool of submissions. This year’s theme is the connection between humans and waterways.

At 16-years-old, Henry Stubbert of Eugene was the youngest artist selected. His design shows water spilling from human hands and onto the wildlife. He said it’s a warning, but it’s also hopeful.

“There's life in the drawing—there's a fish, a log, a turtle and there's plants growing out of the hand. And so it symbolizes that we can turn things around and we can help to nurture that life again.”

Peter Jaeger is part of the city of Springfield’s Stormwater Team. He said community behavior has improved because of the project, but pet waste and vehicle fluid are still concerns. The murals will include links to educational resources.

Jaeger sais this is part of the city’s commitment to utilizing art.

“Over the last 10 years or so, there has been a big push to not only beautify downtown Springfield, but to bring in the art community and to foster new relationships with the artists.“

Eugene will hold its own UpStream Art Project this September. Design submissions are due by August 25.

Nathan Wilk joined the KLCC News Team in 2022. He is a graduate from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. Born in Portland, Wilk began working in radio at a young age, serving as a DJ and public affairs host across Oregon.