LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Ten artists have been painting storm drains in Lincoln to increase awareness that the drains lead directly to creeks and lakes.

The UpStream Art project was created by the Watershed Management Division of the Public Works and Utilities Department. Project coordinator Erin Kubicek says the project will display "only rain in the drain" on each drain alongside varying themes, the Lincoln Journal Star reported .

"It's really special to be here," said painter Abbey Ahmed at Lincoln Children's Zoo. "It brings back a lot of good memories."

Kubicek said the project has been in the works for two years, after she saw similar projects online and was inspired to create public art in Lincoln.

The selected artists have just less than a week to complete their murals in high foot-traffic locations.

The paintings will be coated with a concrete sealer that Kubicek said is supposed to preserve them for three to five years.

She said the water from the drains leads to creeks and lakes in Lincoln, and not everyone knows that.

"It's really supposed to be educational and help people to draw that connection between storm drains and our local waterways," Kubicek said. "If people realize that, then hopefully they'll be a little bit more careful about what goes down there."

___

Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com