Got a group? Stencil storm drains with us

Event Date: 
Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - 12:00pm
St. Paul Streets
A service learning group is ready to stencil storm drains

We are now accepting reservations for stenciling outings and presentations, as well as group cleanups, in September and October 2018. If you're looking for a service outing that's educational, active, outdoors and provides a significant community benefit, come stencil storm drains with us.

FMR can organize stenciling outings or presentations and cleanups in St. Paul for almost any local group — school, church, neighborhood or corporate — thanks to the support of the St. Paul Public Works Program. We can also work with youth groups in North or Northeast Minneapolis or along the Above the Falls parkway or Mississippi River Gorge in Minneapolis.

If you're familiar with the stenciling program and ready to suggest a date for your outing (and/or your cleanup or presentation), go ahead and check out our Group Stenciling, Cleanup Or Presentation Request Form. If not, read on!

What is storm drain stenciling?

Using paint and stencils, volunteers mark storm drains with the message “"Keep 'em Clean, Drains to River (Lake or Creek)!”" and distribute educational door-hangers to neighborhood homes and businesses.

This hands-on service activity is an ideal way to improve our local water resources and an excellent fit for groups looking for a fun, outdoor team-building experience with immediate results.

• are 1.5-2 hours in length
• can be scheduled according to your needs (and the stenciling coordinator’'s availability)
• is entirely free with all supplies provided
• can accommodate anywhere from 20 to 200 people (Have fewer than 20 in your group? Check out our stenciling kit.)

What do volunteers do?

First, the stenciling coordinator provides an educational presentation on how storm drains connect to the river. Unlike household water systems, storm sewers flow directly into our local waters, depositing whatever they pick up along the way — pesticides, motor oil, fertilizer, pet waste — directly to the nearest lake or river. Unfiltered. Untreated. The presentation is brief, engaging and can be tailored to the age and interests of your group.

Next, using spray paint and stencils, volunteers mark storm drains with the message, “"Keep 'em Clean, Drains to River!”" We supply orange safety vests for all volunteers and place safety cones around our work area to ensure everyone is out of harm's way.

Volunteers also distribute educational door hangers to nearby homes and businesses. This helps locals visually connect the newly stenciled drains and local water quality. It also provides information about what they can do in their home and yard to help protect our local waters. 

Volunteers rotate between spray painting and distributing educational materials.

Who can participate, where?

•In St. Paul, FMR works with any group of 20 or more. Classrooms and community, youth, church, corporate and informal neighborhood or family groups are all welcome to stencil in St. Paul. If you have a group of fewer than 20 you are welcome to check out one of our stenciling kits

In Minneapolis, FMR can work with youth-focused groups. (Adult and corporate groups can stencil with Minneapolis through the Minneapolis Department of Public Works.)

Volunteers who live, attend school or work in St. Paul or Minneapolis can usually mark drains near their homes, school or office. The stenciling coordinator, Kate Clayton, will work with you and your group to select your location.

FMR presentations can be tailored to the age and interest level of your group. Typically, participants must be in fourth grade or older. However, we can make exceptions for groups with younger children if a significant, up to one-to-one, adult-to-youth ratio can be provided within the group.

If the above locations don't work for you, please review this list of other local storm drain marking programs.

Because what we do in our yards can cause water pollution, we encourage participants to continue educating friends, neighbors and coworkers about the easy ways to keep our water safe and healthy for the future.

When and how do I plan an outing?

FMR conducts this program mid-April through mid-October (weather permitting). Depending on availability and the size of your group, it can take two to eight weeks to coordinate an outing.

To schedule your outing or inquire further, please submit a request online; you'll be asked for some basic information about your group and your preferred dates for an outing. FMR Youth Coordinator Kate Clayton will return your email within one week. (Groups of 30 or more are welcome to also request a cleanup or presentation via the form.)

If you're a teacher or youth group looking for information to share with others about this program, check out this brochure of FMR youth activities.

City of St. Paul