Vision doesn’t go down the drain
Elementary school students spray painted South Shore streets Tuesday and were praised for it.
About 75 children from Camp Tadaka swept the dirt and debris from nearly 150 city storm drains in order to stencil the message, “No dumping, drains to lake.”
The event was part of an environmental awareness week for first- through fifth-grade campers of the city recreation department’s summer program.
The youngsters lined up eagerly with orange vests, brushes, stencils and paint bottles to leave their mark on roads around the recreation center.
“The stenciling is good because people will read the sign and wait until they find a garbage can to throw their trash away,” said 7-year-old Rose Hook. “If they throw it down the drain I think it will kill the fish.”
Ten-year-old Lauren Aberle was also excited about educating area residents.
“I think the stenciling is really fun, and I’m glad we’re doing something for the community,” she said. “It’s good to learn this now because then we’ll know more about the environment when we grow up, and we can teach other people about not polluting the environment.”
The stenciling event was part of an annual education program sponsored by the League to Save Lake Tahoe to dissuade residents from dumping anything into the city’s 830 drains.
Tracy Felt, an Americorps intern, said the League was grateful for help from Camp Tadaka because the nonprofit agency can usually only sponsor two stenciling events a year.
“This is a fun project for the kids. I think it’s great to make them aware at such a young age,” Felt said. “Many people do not know that storm drains in Tahoe flow directly into creeks and Lake Tahoe. The drains do not lead into a sewage treatment plant.”
Felt said residents usually don’t dump obvious toxins like oil and paint into drains. She said pollutants like soda, household cleaners and fertilizers are sometimes unintentionally flushed, especially during the summer when people wash their cars on driveways.
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After a dry couple of weeks, the storm door may finally be opening.