Dane County grants available to protect area waters

January 19, 2019
This colorful mural painted on a storm drain on the West Side was accomplished in the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department Storm Drain Mural Program.

Two Dane County grant programs aimed at protecting area waters are now accepting applications.

The grants are from the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department, one for providing native plants to schools and communities, the other for paint murals at storm drains to keep the public mindful of where storm water goes, into area lakes and streams.

The deadline to submit applications for the Free Native Plants for Schools and Communities Program is Feb. 1, and the deadline to submit applications for the Storm Drain Mural Program is Feb. 15.

“Our communities value our natural resources and want to make sure they can be enjoyed for many years to come,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi.

“By applying for these grants, local groups can help preserve our environment and raise awareness about keeping area waters clean,” Parisi said.

The native plants program is intended to improve water quality and allow for better infiltration of water back into the ground.

Since the program began in 2016, more than 4,700 native plants have been distributed to 15 schools and 16 community groups.

The mural program started in 2018, with participants using storm drains as a canvas to educate residents about storm water pollution through art.

“The goal of these colorful murals is to capture the attention of those who pass by, help them understand where the storm water that enters drains flows, and get them thinking about what they can do to keep the drains and area waters clean,” Land and Water Resources said in a news release.

Twenty murals were painted in 2018, and 10 are planned in 2019.

Applications for the two programs are available on the Land and Water Resources website.

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