Oak Harbor may get artsy with catch basins, manhole covers

Storm drain facilities on Pioneer Way or in Windjammer Park may soon feature an artistic touch as well as a message.

The Oak Harbor Storm Drain Division is considering an art program as part of its stormwater education program. The program would include putting art around catch basins and manhole covers as a way to educate the public about where the water goes.

Oak Harbor Public Works Director Cathy Rosen recently presented the idea to the City Council at a workshop. All of the responses from council members were positive.

“Anything to bring awareness to the storm drains and where that ultimately goes would be great,” Councilwoman Erica Wasinger said during the workshop.

If the art is to go in Windjammer Park, the program will start after the first phase of planned park improvements are completed. Construction for these improvements is slated to begin early next year. If the division chooses Pioneer Way, the program could start in the summer of 2018, according to a council memo.

The division is currently in the process of working with the Art Commission to select artists and art.

“I love how it’s not just art, but it incorporates a message,” Councilwoman Tara Hizon said. “And it’s something that’s going to catch people’s eye and something that they’re actually going to see and remember.”