With paint brushes and palettes in hand, local artists have been hard at work the last few weeks creating the Town of Fort Mill’s first Stormwater mural project at Kingsley Town Center.
The mural, titled “It’s in Our Hands,” is an innovative new public art project that has been spearheaded by the Town’s Stormwater Department with help from the community. Created by local artist Debbie Whitsett, owner of Olive’s Mud Puddle and current president of the Catawba River Arts Guild, the mural was inspired by the artwork of local Fort Mill School District students who participated in a recent art contest held by the Stormwater Department. The mural will be painted on the sidewalk area adjacent to the stormwater pond at Kingsley, between the restaurants Napa and Taco Molino.
“Many people don’t realize the Kingsley pond is a stormwater pond,” said Stormwater Management Coordinator Mina McLean MacDonald. “The pond is a beautiful habitat for wildlife, but also serves a purpose- it helps slow down and filter stormwater run-off in Kingsley before it hits the creek.”
All storm drains in our community lead directly to waterways. Stormwater is not treated, filtered or cleaned before it enters creeks, ponds and rivers in our area. This means that anything stormwater picks up as it travels also enters the waterway.
“Stormwater run-off can lead to pollution entering our waterways,” said LeeAnn Clark, Town Stormwater Manager. “That’s why it is imperative that we all do our part to limit things like fertilizers, pet waste and trash that can negatively impact our waterways.”
The hope is that the mural, which focuses on the local flora and fauna of our region, will help the public reflect on how we all can play a role in keeping our waterways clean and healthy. Mural installation began May 8 by local artists, students and volunteers, and will continue through May 21. A ribbon cutting is scheduled for Friday, June 16 at 11 a.m.
This project would not have been possible without the support of presenting sponsors, Domtar and Sherwin-Williams, along with the support of Kingsley Town Center, Clear Springs Development, LPL Financial, the Catawba River Arts Guild, Olive’s Mud Puddle, GoClear Orthodontics and York County SC. Support for this project is provided in part by the Arts Council of York County Small Grants Program, and by a generous award from the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina, and the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.