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Downtown Pueblo to get five sidewalk murals by the end of July

The city stormwater department and city-county health department are trying to raise awareness of what doesn’t belong in storm drains with commissioned murals.

Sam Morrell working on a sidewalk mural for the Drain Murals project. (PULP/Kara Mason)

Storm drains are not typically seen as a great canvas for art. Not until now, at least.

The Pueblo City Stormwater Department and the Pueblo City-County Health Department are responsible for five new murals that will appear on downtown Pueblo sidewalks around storm drains by the end of July through the Stormwater Education Art Project .

The goal of the new art?

To get people to look down and learn more about what doesn’t belong in storm drains — basically anything other than stormwater. The five murals revolve around the theme of keeping trash out of water ways.

Pueblo artist Sam Morrell, who recently moved to Pueblo from Boulder, completed the first drain mural this week in the historic district already thick with giant wall murals.

He’ll paint a second drain after finishing the first of the five. The first drain, located next to the Riverwalk on Victoria Ave., will look like this when it’s completed:

(PULP/Kara Mason)

The drain Morrell was working on empties into the Pueblo Riverwalk, which eventually drains into Runyon Lake and then into the Arkansas River. So keeping drains clear up stream becomes especially important.

Stormwater and health department officials were awarded a grant for the project, and say they hope to double the number of murals they’ll be able to commission next year for the project.

For more information on stormwater rules and regulations, call the City Stormwater Hotline at (719) 553-2899 or visit City of Pueblo-Stormwater Utility Division online.

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Written by Kara Mason

Kara Mason is PULP's news editor. She is also the Society of Professional Journalists Colorado Pro Chapter president. Kara freelances for other regional publications, covering government, politics and the environment.

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