Unveiling of The Secret Stream Story Walk at City Hall Text Size

Event takes place on November 02, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Enchanted Circle is excited for the Holyoke City Hall unveiling of The Secret Stream Story Walk a public art and advocacy campaign created by 5th-grade students at Holyoke’s Sullivan School to raise awareness of Day Brook, an underground stream in Holyoke that flows through the city into the Connecticut River.

The Story Walk unveiling will take place on Thursday, November 2nd at 12 pm outside the Mayors Office at City Hall. 

This Arts in Education program was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Urban Waters Small Grant, and administrated by The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, in collaboration with the Holyoke Conservation Commission, the Holyoke Department of Public Works, Holyoke Community College, and Enchanted Circle.   

“The mural project gave us a chance to teach others about what we learned about the environment and what we can do to protect it!    We had so much fun!” 

 — Sullivan School Student reflection


 In Fall 2016, Enchanted Circle teaching artist Liz Woolsey, together with Sullivan School art teacher, Ben Parker, integrated visual arts and environmental science with students in grades five and eight at the Sullivan School in Holyoke. During the course of this artist in residence program, students studied Day Brook, an underground stream running from the Sullivan School to the Connecticut River, and explored the impact that stormwater, combined sewage overflow, and gray infrastructure (industry) have had on the brook itself, the Connecticut River Watershed, and the community at large. 

For their final project, the 8th-grade students created a Public Art Mural that is on display at Community Field, and the 5th-grade students created a Story Walk that tells the story of Day Brook. The Mural was unveiled at Community Field in Holyoke on June 24th and the Story Walk will be unveiled at Sullivan School on Thursday, September 14th.  This public art campaign aims to re-connect area residents with the often-unseen natural resources in their urban environment and to educate the public about the impact the community has upon our watershed.

The Secret Stream Mural and Story Walk are part of a larger project to develop a green infrastructure plan for Day Brook under a $60,000 EPA Grant awarded to the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC). According to the EPA, these grants aim “to make a visible difference by working with a diversity of partners to support community-driven solutions that connect the intrinsic value of urban waters with improving the livability and economic health of the community.”  

Day Brook is a natural stream that was piped into Holyoke’s combined sewer system long ago, and its presence contributes to CSO (combined sewage overflow) discharges into the Connecticut River during storm events. The green infrastructure plan developed by PVPC will examine potential installations such as rain gardens and street trees, that could reduce CSO discharges by diverting or soaking up stormwater before it joins Day Brook underground.

 “Enchanted Circle is proud to be involved in this important community conservation program. I am confident that the Story Walk and Mural we created with students in grades 5 and 8 at Sullivan School will engage, inform and inspire our community for years to come.”

Posted on October 31, 2017 by