Storm drain art contest raises awareness about Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Anthony Maenza
York Dispatch

York City artists can raise awareness about clean water — and win cash prizes — as part of the city's storm drain art contest.

The contest invites artists to paint three city storm drains with original art designed to promote protecting the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Water from a large swath of Pennsylvania, including the Codorus Creek and Susquehanna River, drains into the Chesapeake. That means pollution in York City is ultimately seen downstream.

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The top three three designs will be awarded cash prizes and their artwork will be featured on storm drains around the city.

Design submissions for the storm drain artwork are due by July 24. Artists can submit up to three designs. You can submit those designs with your name, address, e-mail address and phone number at 

The winner of the Street 2 Creek Storm Drain Art contest in 2021 was Jessica Pedro Pascual with this piece.

According to contest organizers, works will be judged on creativity, color, artistic ability, environmental theme and message and the most creative and impactful use of storm drain within the art work. A panel of local artists and community leaders will select the winning artists using this rubric. 

The contest is open to artists 14 and older.  

There are three drains that artists can design their work around:

  • The first is located at 103 S. Beaver St. (in front of the Green Bean Coffee Shop.) Dimensions: 57 inches wide by 46 inches deep.
  • The second is located on the corner of Philadelphia and Pershing streets on Philadelphia Street (in front of First Capital Dispensing, 57 N. Pershing Ave. Dimensions: 60 inches wide by 34 inches deep.
  • The third is located at the Philadelphia Street Bridge over Codorus Creek. Dimensions: 48 inches wide by 60 inches deep.

First prize is $500; second prize is $400; and third prize is $300. 

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Winners must be able to physically create the artwork at their specified drain locations in York City. Paint will be provided to the artists who place in the top three, but they must supply their own brushes. 

Drain artwork will be celebrated during the 20th Annual Watershed Week, sponsored by the Watershed Alliance of York, in September. 

For rules in the contest, go to Designs can also be submitted through the website. 

— Reach Anthony Maenza at or @atmaenza on Twitter.