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Oak Harbor students stencil to raise pollution awareness
Students from Oak Harbor Middle School and fourth graders from Broad View Elementary have recently been out in force stenciling storm drains with the guidance of Maribeth Crandell, outreach educator for the city of Oak Harbor and Kindle Welshans from the Storm Water Division of Oak Harbor Public Works.
The fourth graders stenciled well over 100 storm drains in one day on June 6.
The students first watched a video called “Lost and Puget Sound.” The award winning film features three Seattle students who lost something down a storm drain and set out to find it. They follow the rain and find that storm drains lead directly to Puget Sound where people fish and swim.
They noticed more than just rain going down the storm drains. Car wash soap, yard chemicals and pet waste were also getting washed into Puget Sound, Crandell said.
After watching the video and participating in a discussion about storm water pollution, the students set out to alert the neighborhood around their schools by stenciling storm drains with a variety of messages: “Only Rain Down the Drain,” “Protect Our Wetland,” “Please Don’t Pollute” and “Dump No Waste” were accompanied by images of crabs, fish and frogs.
“It’s a great way for students to get outside and have fun while making a direct connection with classroom lessons about water quality and our daily activities,” Crandell said. “Like in the film, our young people have a strong impact on their family and neighbors. If they show they care, they influence those around them.”
To plan a talk for your group, call Crandell at 279-4762.