Three partnering organizations want the environmental artworks for Tigard and Hillsboro.

PHOTO COURTESY TUALATIN RIVERKEEPERS - An art competition has been announced to bring awareness to pollution streaming into city drains.Tualatin Riverkeepers, Centro Cultural and the Muslim Educational Trust seek artists to design and paint sidewalk murals in Tigard and Hillsboro. This artwork will serve as a multilingual educational tool to remind the public that storm drains carry storm water directly to the waterways that residents use in every day for drinking water and recreation.

"Storm drains connect urban areas to creeks, streams, and rivers in our community through a system of pipes, drains, and culverts," according to a press release. "They are located along streets and next to sidewalks, in areas that collect storm water from impervious surfaces and direct it to the Tualatin River and its tributaries. When rainwater can't soak into the ground, it runs along streets and parking lots and picks up pollutants. This storm water (or polluted runoff) flows into our rivers and streams, and overwhelms local infrastructure to cause sewage overflows."

Thanks to a Metro Community Placemaking Grant, the three partner agencies are seeking design proposals for sidewalk art close to storm drains on Main Street in downtown Tigard and Hillsboro. The artwork will be designed to raise awareness of how storm drains connect to the Tualatin River.

Proposed art work must include the phrase "Drains to the Tualatin River" in English and Spanish or Arabic, and must include cultural symbols that represent Washington County's diverse community. Preference will be given to artists of color living in Washington County.

Selected artists will receive a commission of $1,500, connections to public agencies, community organizations and local businesses, as well as an opportunity to mentor youth interested in art for the environment.

Riverkeepers will host informational sessions for interested applicants from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 5, at Muslim Educational Trust, 10330 S.W. Scholls Ferry Road, Tigard; and from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, at Prosperidad, 400 E. Main St., Suite 110, Hillsboro.

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