Ten more City snow plows are sporting blades painted by local students in the second year of the Artistic Snow Plow project. Nine plows were painted last year through the project, a collaboration of the City Public Works and Utilities (PWU) Department and Lincoln Public Schools (LPS).
"This year, we invited schools to create murals based on the theme of community and school spirit," said Clayton Engelman, a PWU Street Maintenance employee who coordinated this year's program. "These newly painted plows along with the ones painted last year are assigned to the participating schools' snow routes so students and teachers can see their plows in action, removing snow and keeping our streets safe."
This year's participating schools are Lincoln High and Lincoln Northeast High; Mickle Middle School; and Prescott, Norwood Park, Saratoga, Hill, Holmes Trinity Lutheran and Kooser Elementary Schools. The schools had three weeks to paint the plows, and some incorporated the project into family fun nights or PTO events to engage the students and their parents.
"Lincoln Public School students have enjoyed this opportunity to connect to their community," said Lorinda Rice, LPS Art Curriculum Supervisor. "This plow project allows our students to meet many LPS curriculum standards - express through art, create art, connect with art and live with art. Teachers love to hear reports that students spotted their school's plow making the streets safe. Understanding how a group's creativity and design can beautify our City on a cold snowy day is the icing on the cake for students and teachers."
The program was initiated last year by Roger Tiedeman, a District Manager in the Street and Traffic Operations Division, who read about a similar program in Wisconsin. Tiedeman proposed the artistic snow plow program as a way to educate the public about the City's 18 snow routes covering nearly 1,200 miles.
Engelman said one of the program's goal is to have all City plows painted. Paints were provided by Sherwin Williams, and the painted plows are sealed with a protective clear coat provided by Lowe's Home Improvement.
Information on City snow operations is available at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: snow).