Call for artists for storm drain mural project

Courtesy photo
Artists Rachael Forando and Stephen Welter stand by their storm drain mural painted in Winooski 2018.

Use your creativity to spread the word about stormwater quality and help keep Lake Champlain clean. Rethink Runoff is currently accepting designs for a storm drain mural campaign that will take place in Shelburne, Thursday, Sept. 26. Artists will paint murals that illustrate the importance of keeping the water that enters storm drains clean.

The purpose of the mural project is to raise public awareness about stormwater runoff, including that most storm drains flow directly to streams and lakes without any treatment. When it rains, trash and pollutants on streets are carried to drains that lead directly into nearby streams and ultimately to Lake Champlain. Rethink Runoff asks everyone to pitch in by properly disposing of trash, oils, paints and other household waste.

Of the designs received, two artists will be selected to paint their murals on sidewalks adjacent to storm drains. Each artist will receive a $250 stipend upon successful completion of their mural.  In order to be selected the following conditions must be met:

  • Artist must be available to paint their mural Thursday, Sept. 26, with a rain date of Friday, Sept. 27.
  • Artwork must contain a storm water awareness message. Examples include, “Drains to Champlain,” “Don’t dump down the drain” or your own, unique message.
  • Artists will be responsible for purchasing all paints, brushes and supplies needed to paint their mural. Artists will receive material requirements from Rethink Runoff to ensure the correct type of paint and supplies are used.

Artists who live in Chittenden County are strongly encouraged to apply, but anyone is welcome to submit a design for consideration

The selection committee will utilize the following points system to choose final four designs:

  • Five points for a mural concept that clearly conveys and communicates the importance of keeping waterways clean and/or not dumping materials down drains.
  • Five points for a mural concept that contains a catchy, environmental message.
  • Five points for a mural that can easily be painted on the sidewalk adjacent to the drain
  • Five points for an artist that has a strategy for community involvement in their mural.

Applications are due by midnight on Sept. 9. To apply, visit Contact with questions.

Rethink Runoff’s Stream Team is a project to engage citizens across a nine-town area (Burlington, Essex, Essex Junction, Milton, Shelburne, South Burlington, Williston, Winooski and Colchester) to implement projects to reduce nonpoint source pollution and stormwater volume at the local level. The program is managed by the Chittenden County Municipal Separate Storm Sewer designated towns and run by the Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District. Learn more at

Rethink Runoff is an ongoing awareness and public outreach effort to reduce dirt and pollutants in stormwater runoff in the Lake Champlain Basin. It is managed by the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission and assists several municipalities and entities in complying with federally required stormwater permits.

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