Stencil Storm Drains

Success Stories -
Students from Central Middle School in Little Canada stenciled storm drains together with participants from the Retired Senior Volunteers Program.

Minneapolis 5th graders from Northrup and Wenona Elementary Schools joined the ground-breaking for new wetlands at Lake Nokomis. The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board created retention areas to filter phosphorus and other pollutants from street runoff.

Students stenciled water protection messages by storm drains, built bird houses, and made posters for the Lake Nokomis Community Center. Minneapolis' Mayor and other dignitaries spoke. The event received significant media attention.

Students studied water quality in the classroom. In spring, they returned to the site to help adult volunteers with revegetative plantings in and around the new wetland.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Pick a site in your watershed. Get permission and a storm drain system map. (Call the "Public Works" department of your city government. See the blue pages of your phone book.)
  2. Get equipment: stencils, paint, broom, tape, newspaper, traffic cones, vests, etc.
  3. Organize teams of 4-6, including adult supervisor for safety.
  4. Make fliers explaining the reason for the stencils.
  5. Get out and paint! (Don't forget equipment clean up.)
  6. Leaflet properties which empty into the target storm drains.
  7. Reflect and celebrate.

The Pollution Prevention Project Guide has a two-page "to-do" list with several items under each of the seven headings above. Read detailed "Storm Drain Stenciling" instructions on line or download as PDF File.

Order Storm Drain Stencils - Order stencils and find instructions for using them from Earthwater Stencils.

Background Fact Sheet for Students - Click to read on-line and/or download "Pollution Pipe: Street to Stream," a two-page fact sheet for students explaining the science behind the impact of runoff on lakes and streams.

For Teachers:

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