Drain smARTly

Annalee Whitten paints the first of seven drainage areas Thursday as part of a reminder to keep unwanted items from being washed down curb drains. This location is at the intersection of East Third and Market Streets. Whitten got the idea while on vacation in Salem Mass. She is a 7th grader at Mason County Middle School.

After a successful first go at urban art, Maysville is adding a second project to its efforts in the downtown area.

Storm drain art centers around storm drains and draws attention to where water or other substances including pollutants that flow down storm drains eventually go.

Called Drain SmARTly, the project's first installment, at the intersection of East Third and Market streets, was recently completed by Mason County Middle School seventh-grader Annalee Whitten.

Whitten said she got the idea while on vacation in Salem, Mass. The downtown Maysville project is part of a community service project she is involved with for school.

"It's a really cool project," said Mayville City Manager Matt Wallingford. Not only does it add art to the urban landscape, it also serves as a reminder to be good environmental stewards, he said.

There are plans for Witten to add more artwork to storm drains in the downtown area, Wallingford said. But first, the city must secure encroachment permits since the storm drains are on state rights of way, he said.

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It was another downtown urban art project that garnered statewide attention a few weeks ago.

Kentucky Main Street Director Kitty Dougoud visited Maysville to present an award for Best Downtown Beatification Project from the Kentucky Main Street Association for the city logo painted at the intersection of Market and Second streets.

That project was also student-inspired, designed by Mason County High School art teacher Stephanie Martinez' student Jordyn Coyle, who was a junior at the time. Coyle created a stencil of the design. Once the stencil was complete, fellow students Kate Clarke, Taeylor Caudell, Sarah Ballard, Bryce Hendrickson, Jarett Coyle and Demarion Johnson spent a day placing the artwork on the intersection.

The Drain SmARTly project is a national project, Wallingford said, and another form of a concept called tactical urbanism, a term used to describe a collection of low-cost, temporary changes to the built environment intended to improve neighborhoods and gathering places .

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