Beautify the city and share an important message with the Adopt a Storm Drain program

Help keep Lexington’s waterways clean by painting a local storm drain with important pollution prevention messaging.

A storm drain painted light blue with animal stencils and a quote

This storm drain, located by Charles Young Park, was painted by a local youth group. | Photo by LEXtoday

You never know what you’ll come across in Lexington when your face isn’t buried in your phone. That’s exactly how this story came to be when I, City Editor Molly, stumbled across a pink storm drain while downtown one Sunday morning.

We might not notice storm drains (or even realize their true purpose). I spoke with Jennifer Myatt, an Environmental Initiatives Specialist with the city, who shared how the Barbie-themed storm drain came to be and how you can adopt a storm drain.

The why

“Storm drains are part of our storm water collection system. We don’t want litter, trash, yard waste, or anything [going] into our storm drain, because those go directly into our creeks,” said Myatt.

That’s why the city is encouraging people to participate in the storm drain mural program, to bring awareness and share their own no-pollution messages.

There are two ways you can make your mark on Lexington’s streets: volunteering to stencil or with an artistic submission.

A storm drain with a waves painted on it in different shades of blue.

You can find this artistic storm drain on National Avenue near the North Ashland Ave. intersection. | Photo by LEXtoday

Stencil

When you volunteer to stencil a storm drain, Live Green Lexington will provide you with a map to choose from the 20,000 options. You’ll also receive a full stencil kit that includes:

  • Spray paint
  • Traffic cones + safety vests
  • Environmental messaging stencils

Artistic approach

You can also flex your artistic muscle by submitting your own design for a storm drain for approval.

  • Art sketches + messaging should be submitted for approval two weeks prior to painting
  • You must get permission if you’re planning to paint in a neighborhood or in front of a business

Pro tips

  • Storm drains must be on public property — no parking lots or on UK’s campus.
  • Remember the why — no pollution in our waterways.
  • Don’t paint over yellow markings

Need some inspo? Here’s a map to some colorful concrete creations around town.