May 07, 2007

Alabama Children Design Storm Drain Covers

School children in Auburn, Ala., designed about 1,000 markers to be placed on storm drains to be placed around the Saugahatchee Creek, Town Creek and Moores Mill Creek watersheds.

The markers have been used in other Alabama cities, and were designed to educate the public on the importance of not dumping materials into storm drains. In addition, door hangs with the same advice will be placed on doors in the neighborhood.

Matt Dunn, manager of the watershed division of Auburn’s Water Resource Management Department, told the Opelika-Auburn News that the use of these markers has worked well in other communities.

The markers were made out of plastic material and have an ultraviolet coating to prevent fading. An adhesive backing on each marker will be used to glue it onto the storm drains. Dunn told the Opelika-Auburn News that the markers have a guaranteed lifespan of 15 to 20 years.

Officials from the city of Auburn and the Auburn University Sustainability Initiative worked with fourth graders for two weeks, teaching them about watersheds and what they can do to help.

One student’s drawing was chosen from each school for the project, and 200 markers were made of each design for the first phase of the project.

Auburn has about 4,500 storm drains in the city.

The project was funded by a $15,000 grant from the Cooperative Extension Office, Center of Forrest Sustainability and College of Agriculture at AU. The money covers educational materials in the schools in addition to T-shirts for the kids and student contest winners.

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