POLK COUNTY SOIL AND WATERSHED CONSERVATION DISTRICT

Attention Grabbing Sculptures Promote Homeowner Cost-Sharing Program for Storm Water Best Practices

Homeowners in Polk County, Iowa, can receive cost-sharing help from their participating municipality when they implement practices to help their yards soak up storm water. Some of the practices eligible for cost-sharing include planting rain gardens, amending soil, and using permeable paving solutions for driveways, paths, and patios. These best practices help improve the water quality of local watersheds by ensuring that more storm water is absorbed in the soil – and less runs off into streams, ponds, and lakes.

raincoat with holes in it and an umbrella with holes in it and some plants.jpg

The county engaged Group to help boost awareness and use of these stormwater best practices and the accompanying cost-sharing programs. To support this goal, Group hired artist Nate Page of Los Angeles to create the following attention-grabbing pieces:

Nate+Page+Water+Works+Presentation1-17.jpg
  • An 11-foot-high raincoat and a giant umbrella to capture attention at events such as festivals and home expos. This sculpture travels with a coordinating bags game to spur additional interest.

  • A tabletop-sized umbrella sculpture for each participating municipality to display in its city hall. When a consumer uses the program, the municipality can place a ‘hole’ sticker on their umbrella, inspiring competition between municipalities to encourage greater use of the program.

  • Compelling and novel yard signs that look like perforated raincoats or umbrellas. Homeowners using the program can display these in their yard to prompt word of mouth and discussion. 

Group also collaborated with the public relations firm Hanser and Associates to coordinate a larger effort including creation of branded collateral, a messaging kit, and training for program staff.