Unique watershed event rushes to Folk Hall parking lot

By: Cydney Woodyard

The south parking lot behind Folk Hall (Lot 47) will be getting a transformation this weekend with your help.

Students from the Meyer School of Art, Environmental Akron and the student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers will all collaborate to help create a surface contour map on the south parking lot on Friday and Saturday. The drawing of the map will be a temporary artwork made out of water based and nontoxic paint which will draw attention to the ways in which the parking lot functions.

This project is designed to calculate as well as demonstrate the amount of water that falls onto the parking lots during a typical rainstorm in Akron. This will also indicate the direction and the amount of water going into the storm drains.

Students will be surveying the lot Friday at 3 p.m. in relation to the storm drains, and on Saturday October 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., they will be illustrating the hidden watersheds with the water based, nontoxic paint. Free coffee and donuts will be available Saturday morning.

Lot 47 will remain closed from 3 p.m. Friday afternoon to 6 a.m. Monday morning.

This project hopes to begin the exploration of how parking lots can be used as part of our learning environment. The many purposes of a parking lot include the flow of vehicles, storage of vehicles, flow of water and removal of snow. In the ideal situation, it can also provide safe areas for pedestrian flow, pedestrian waiting and drainage systems that reuse precipitation instead of merely discharging it.

Many involved in the Watershed project hope that it will draw attention to the environmental consequences of our daily movement patterns in parking lots. The project’s goal is to provide engineering, geography, art and biology students an opportunity to work together in order to better understand our environment.