The Thornton Storm Drain Mural Project is giving storm drains  in your neighborhood a new look.


The city of Thornton Arts and Culture Division, in collaboration with the Engineering Services Division, worked with volunteer artists to create small-scale murals on outdoor storm drains. Each work is unique, and brings attention to water-quality protection and the positive impact Thornton residents can have on the environment.

Why Paint Storm Drains?

Storm drains lead directly to our waterways. Every time it rains, trash and pollutants on our streets are carried into the storm drains, leading directly into our streams, rivers and eventually, our oceans. The impact on local water sources can significantly degrade fish habitat, drinking water supplies, and recreational opportunities. By painting Thornton storm drains, we are reminding residents that our neighborhoods are all connected to our streams and rivers. Follow the link to visit Stormwater Quality and learn more on their educational efforts and the importance of stormwater in our community

The Artists

The artists chosen for this project volunteered their time and donated their designs in support of public art and water quality.

Learn more about the artists below.

“I moved out to Colorado last year, Thornton being my new home. It’s been a pleasure to work with the city and an honor to be able to leave my mark and be a part of this great community. I cannot thank you all for this amazing opportunity.”

Laura Schirmer, “Keep Me Clean For Those Downstream” at 14933 Xenia Street

“I chose to center my design on the animals impacted by storm water pollution. I included animals that are all local to Colorado (and most of which are commonly found in the Thornton area): bluegill bass, black crappie, northern redbelly dace, river otter, green-winged teal, and blue-winged teal. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the northern redbelly dace, river otter, green winged teal, and blue winged teal are currently either tier 1 or tier 2 priorities for conservation. The environment, and specifically the animals in that environment, are directly impacted by what we allow to wash down our storm water drains.”​

Liz Carney, “Rain Cloud” at Rowena Street and Vine Street
“I am a Fine Artist in Westminster, Colorado. This project was my first foray into public art, but will not be the last! Painting storm drains is a great way to bring attention to how we affect our environment, and it was an amazing experience to be out on the street (literally) sharing the creative process with the neighborhood. Aside from painting, I enjoy taking photographs of the trails and mountains in Colorado, and can be found at various local art festivals throughout the year. “​

Zoie Harker, “Keep Our Streams Clean” at Grant Street and Eppinger Boulevard
“I am a Pop Artist/Caricaturist currently living in Thornton, Co. I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in Thornton's painting of traffic boxes, which got me excited about public art. I loved all of the positive comments from passersby as I worked on both projects. It's fun to beautify the city and to bring attention to important issues at the same time.”​

Who Chose the Designs? 

All design submissions are reviewed and chosen by members of the TASHCO Public Art Subcommittee. Committee members score the submitted designs based on artistic merit, creativity and overall impact on the community. Storm drain murals are another way TASHCO supports and advocates for the arts and humanities within the city of Thornton.

How Was the Program Funded? 

The city of Thornton Arts & Culture Division funded the $1,200 materials budget. We are working to help fund future projects through beautification grants and/or sponsors.

Want to Participate?

Read our 2019 Call to Artists to submit your design! Deadline extended to July 31!