Local artists raise water quality awareness

Cogs & Wheels Project part of community collaboration

Local artists raise water quality awareness

NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUTY - Community members partner with the Craven County School System and Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation for the Cogs & Wheels Project.  This is the first year for the group.  They are raising awareness on how plastic bottles are becoming a waste problem for the environment.

"The project is mostly about collaboration of different part of the community, teaching, education, environment, water and in our beautiful town," said Jane Horner, the lead artist.

This year's theme is storm water runoff and water quality awareness.  The idea came from noticing how many plastic bottles were washed up on the banks of the Neuse River.  When word got out about the project, the supplies started rolling in.

"We collect them at school and then people just donate them.  The first time we came here, there were bottles sitting at the front door," said Margorie Weigel, a student volunteer.

According to a 2009 study, the US discards more than 1500 bottles a second. Each piece of artwork contains that exact number of bottles.

"It's something that has a big message to take care of our town, take care of our water and work together," said Horner.

Another step in the artistic process is that volunteers will write messages raising awareness about water quality and any concerns they may have dealing with environment and insert them into the bottles.

"The bottles are going to be hung all around town," said Horner.

Within the coming weeks, you will be able to see the strands of messages in some store fronts of downtown New Bern.  The full exhibit will be a part of the Art Walk in May.

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