University of ArkansasUpStream Art Logo

What is UpStream Art?
This unique and engaging educational program utilizes art to communicate the function and importance of storm drains. UpStream Art gives artists the opportunity to express themselves with semi-permanent public art in the form of a small-scale outdoor storm drain mural. The purpose of UpStream Art is to draw attention to the usually discreet concrete and iron infrastructure with the hope that observers stop and think about where the water flows after it enters a storm drain. If residents understand that stormwater flows untreated to creeks, streams, rivers and lakes, then they will be more conscious of potential pollutants that can enter those waterways. This project, along with the involvement of our vibrant art community, is unique and has a positive impact on water quality protection.

Why Storm Drains?

Leah Saffian's Cone Flower

Detail of Leah’s Saffian’s Cone Flower located on West and Maple in Fayettville

Stormwater runoff occurs when precipitation from rain or snowmelt flows over the ground. Impervious surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, streets, and parking lots prevent stormwater from naturally soaking into the ground. Stormwater acts like a magnet, picking up everything in its
path such as grease, oil, sediment, litter, anti-freeze, fertilizer, yard clippings, and pet waste. Stormwater runoff flows into our storm drain system carrying with it the pollutants it has gathered. Many residents have a
misconception that storm drains are part of our sanitary sewer system that lead to a wastewater treatment plant. Instead, storm drains act as a direct link transporting stormwater untreated to local streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands. Polluted stormwater runoff can have many adverse effects on plants, fish, animals, and people.

Heart of Dickson

Tina Oppenheimer’s Heart of Dickson located at West Ave. & Dickson St. in Fayetteville

For more info contact:
Jane Maginot
Program Associate – Water Quality
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
2536 N. McConnell Ave.
Fayetteville, AR 72704
Programs and events are open to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (large print, audiotapes, etc.) should notify the county Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible prior to the activity.

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