UpStream Art

Enjoy an UpStream Art tour

Click to enlarge

You can take yourself and your favorite people on a leisurely Springfield stroll to view all the UpStream Art locations! It’s a fun outdoor activity that gets us out of the house, celebrates local art, and reminds us of the connection between our behaviors, our streets, and our waterways.

Currently 26 sidewalk murals can be viewed through an approximately 2-mile walk through Springfield:

  • View 10 murals at the Booth-Kelly Trailhead,
  • Then walk 3-5 blocks, depending on your route, to see 11 murals in downtown Springfield,
  • And finally walk another 5 blocks west of downtown to see our 5 newest murals at an entrance at Island Park.

See our mural map (at right) to select your favorite route. Then invite family and friends and set out on your own self-guided tour!

UpStream Art 2020

Click the arrows to view event highlights!

Art installation now complete!

This summer’s UpStream Art project was held September 26-27, 2020. Five new storm drain paintings are now located next to Willamalane’s Adult Activity Center at the cul-de-sac on C Street, near the path entering Island Park. Artists were compensated $1,000 each for their work, representing this year’s theme, “Keeping it Clean, From Street to Stream.”

Due to COVID-19 concerns, the public was not invited to watch the art installation as in years past, so we are pleased to provide the slideshow (above) of the weekend’s activities.

Meet the artists from UpStream Art 2020

Emma Baldwin

Currently living in Oregon, Baldwin is a mixed media artist using her work to reimagine the future and the botanic possibilities it could present, as well as depicting new ways to understand environmental interactions.

emmahbaldwinart.com

Mandy Brimmer

Brimmer’s work is based on nature and the environment as she seeks to demonstrate the spirit of community, health and integrity. She lives in Springfield.

Instagram @MandyBrimmer

Tasha Corley

Her work blends inspiration from nature, video games, fantasy and science fiction into her drawings and paintings. Corley lives in Eugene.

artstation.com/tiimariie

Uyen-thi Nguyen

Nguyen is based in Cottage Grove and works primarily in oils with a focus on portraits and some urban landscapes.

utnpaintings.com

Marisa Silver

Silver, from Springfield, works with her hands in macramé and pottery as well as painting.

Instagram @freecreatures

About UpStream Art

Here’s why we have UpStream Art

Background

Held every summer since 2016, UpStream Art is a project hosted by the City of Springfield in which artists are commissioned at a rate of $1,000 each to paint inspirational murals around storm drains and sidewalks. These colorful creations raise awareness of the connection between city streets and local waterways while supporting artists and beautifying the city.

The murals convey a simple-yet-important reminder: Springfield’s stormwater is separate from our wastewater and it is not treated, so all the City’s storm drains eventually empty into local waterways. As rain washes over hard surfaces, it collects contaminants such as weed killers, vehicle fluids, bacteria from pet waste, soaps from car washing, small pieces of litter, and more. These pollutants flow into storm drains and out to the Willamette and McKenzie Rivers, harming the waterways we all enjoy.

By expressing this message creatively in a section of town, the goal of UpStream Art is to inspire community members to do their part in preventing pollutants from entering neighborhood storm drains.

What is stormwater?

Outfall in Island Park where UpStream Art storm drains lead to. As our community grows, ground often gets covered up with asphalt, concrete and buildings. Without realizing it, we are disrupting an important part of the water cycle.

Instead of rain naturally filtering into the ground, in urban areas it flows over roofs, driveways and streets as stormwater. Stormwater can pick up pollutants and transport them to our local waterways via the storm drain system. Pollutants include everyday items like pesticides or fertilizers in our yards, oil in our cars, and even soap. When introduced into the waterway, pollutants have a harmful affect on aquatic life and the health of our rivers.

To learn more about how you can help prevent water pollution, read this Prevent Stormwater Pollution resource and check out our Clean Water at A Glance factsheets.

Tips for healthy streams

Springfield values our waterways for their natural beauty, recreational opportunities, and world-class fishing. We get a lot of rain and one of the biggest threats to the health of rivers like the Willamette is runoff from urban areas.

As stormwater flows over surfaces like roofs, streets, and driveways, it collects common pollutants and washes them into storm drains and out to waterways, where they can harm plants, animals, and humans in the area.

You can keep waterways healthy with these simple tips:

  1. Always pick up after your pet. This prevents rain from washing harmful bacteria and pollutants into our waterways.
  2. Fix leaking vehicles. To trap toxic fluids, put a drip pan under leaks until your car can be repaired.
  3. Use natural gardening techniques like beneficial bugs, hand-removal of weeds, and compost. Avoid chemical weed, moss, and insect killers.
  4. Wash your car at a commercial car wash instead of at home. Car washes are plumbed to our wastewater treatment plant. At home the soap, dirt, and grease wash into our rivers and groundwater.
  5. Keep litter off streets and sidewalks before it washes down the storm drain.

Our Water: Springfield Stormwater Brochure

Click to view

Contact Us

  • For general information, please contact the City of Springfield’s Stormwater Team at WaterResources@springfield-or.gov or 541.746.3694.
  • Artists interested in applying for the next UpStream Art mural painting project can either visit this webpage or the City of Springfield’s Facebook page in mid-April 2021, or can click the button below to sign up to receive emailed updates. A panel of judges selects our winners and those artists are paid for installing their paintings.
Click to join the UpStream Art Mailing List