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About Us > Kittery Students Spray-paint the Town

By Ryan Peters
The Weekly Sentinel
Friday, June 8, 2007

Kittery students spray-painted the town to achieve cleaner water.KITTERY – Last Wednesday and Thursday, May 30-31, students from R.W. Traip Academy were seen spray-painting the streets of Kittery. Normally, this would be vandalism. However, these students were no vandals.

Dress in unavoidably bright orange vests, the students delivered an environmental awareness message to local residents. They stenciled “Keep it clean – Drains to creek” on storm drains in efforts to raise awareness about storm water pollution in southern York County. In just over six hours, during the two-day span, 47 students managed to leave their message on nearly 150 storm drains.

At brink paces, squadrons of juniors and seniors canvassed Kittery flanked by Traip science teacher Celeste Frisbee and Carolyn Hanson of the Spruce Creek Association. The students participate – enthusiastically in most cases – as part of Frisbee’s “Coastal Resources” and “Environmental Sciences” courses.

Hanson was enthused to “let people know the town is involved” in increasing awareness to protect local water bodies.

The stencils also included the address of www.ThinkBlueMaine.org, which was “created to inform the public about storm water pollution and prevention,” according to its mission statement.

According to the web site, “polluted storm water, which is precipitation that doesn’t soak into the ground, is the largest source of water quality problems in the United States, and humans all contribute to it, maybe without realizing it. Up to 70 percent of the rain that falls on property leaves taking with it hitchhiking pollutants.”

The pollutants flow untreated into different bodies of water which kill “sensitive aquatic life and harm the overall beauty and recreational appeal…”

Kittery students spray-painted the town to achieve cleaner water.The students focused their efforts on several popular area, both commercial and residential. On Wednesday – with the help of students from Shapleigh Middle School – they left their mark at the Kittery Trading Post, as well as the Tanger and Premier Outlets on Route 1.

“We did that, not only with the permission, but with the enthusiastic involvement of the managers,” said Hanson. “It was really neat.”

On Thursday, they took to Admiralty Village, a densely populated area near Traip’s campus, improvising their designs even after running out of white spray-paint.

The entire event was prompted by the Phase II Stormwater Regulatory Program, which, according to a press release, “regulates stormwater discharge from small municipalities.” A portion of the regulation requires “public education to raise awareness concerning stormwater pollution while at the same time promoting ways the public can help reduce it.” The Town of Kittery, as well as other local communities, is subject to the new regulation.

FMI on the regulations, Spruce Creek, and how one can get involved, contact Carolyn Hanson at (207) 439-2124 or visit the Spruce Creek Association’s web site at www.sprucecreekassociation.org.


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