Pottsville street art depicts message to protect local waterways

POTTSVILLE, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) -- New street art is on display in Schuylkill County to remind people to protect local waterways. The Schuylkill Action Network is getting the message across with a little help from the Super Mario Brothers.
 
Local students competed in an artwork competition. The winning piece: video game characters the Super Mario Brothers coming out of water pipes. 
 
"In the Mario games, there are water pipes you go through in different levels, and it's about the sewer so I thought I'd merge the two ideas," explained 8th grade artist, Justin Lescavage. 
 
Lescavage wanted to create something that would stick with people, and because Mario is a popular video game character, it seemed like a perfect fit. 
 
"I think the way the student drew Mario and the pipes being interactive I think they can visualize the pipes underground and how they're connected to local water ways," said Virginia Vassalotti, with the Schuylkill Action Network. 
 
The Schuylkill Action Network has been doing projects like this for years in Philadelphia, and after seeing a positive impact on the Schuylkill River there, they thought it was time to go upstream to the Schuylkill River in Schuylkill County. 
 
"We hope that they can learn that these storm drains don't just go to a waste water treatment plant, that whatever goes down them actually goes to our local water ways and streams are connected to larger rivers where we get our drinking water from," added Vassalotti. 
 
Lescavage's design was transformed into a giant sticker that was pressed to the ground outside of the Pottsville Free Public Library. When he saw his artwork in place for the first time... He was all smiles. 
 
"He was very excited, he couldn't wait to see his project displayed on the streets of his home town," said his mother, Michelle Lescavage. 
 
The street art is designed to last up to a year, depending on the weather and foot and car traffic. 

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