BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - Two groups in Independence County have teamed up to keep trash out of their waterways through art. Local artists are helping out too by painting murals on storm drains.
The goal is to educate the public that what goes in those storm drains goes right to local streams and rivers.
At the corner of Main and 5th Streets, the project is well underway. With each brushstroke, Lyon College Sophomore Morgan Gurke brings art and awareness to Main Street Batesville.
"There's kind of this misconception that people think anything that's going down these drains is gonna go through sewage system or some kind of filtration and that's just not the case," Paige Dirksen told Region 8 News.
Dirksen, the Executive Director of the Batesville Area Arts Council, said this project was inspired by Fayetteville's Upstream Art Project. Dirksen took part in that project a few weeks ago.
Dirksen said after being involved there, she brought the idea to the Main Street Batesville board.
Immediately, they agreed to help.
"As soon as that came about, I was like, this is a project I want to be part of, I want you to paint our storm drains and Main Street Batesville will fund it," Main Street Batesville Executive Director Joel Williams said.
Williams said the project only furthers their goal to beautify Main Street.
"To help increase the value of our community and our neighborhood and that's really what the heart of it is," Williams said.
Linda Creighton was born and raised in Batesville and recently relocated her business to Main Street. She said with all the beautification going on, it's an exciting time for the area.
"We shopped downtown on Main Street as I was a child," Creighton said. "I really miss having that hometown where you can come and walk down Main and get what you need so I'm real excited about what's taking place in Batesville."
Creighton said whether it's planting new trees or painting storm drains, every little bit counts.
"To try to have Main Street and work with Main Street to make a comeback and I really believe we will," Creighton said.
Main Street Batesville was able to fund the project through grant money. Many more storm drains along Main Street are slated to be painted by local artists and the Arts Council hopes to do this to storm drains throughout Batesville in the future.