Sequoia Elementary Storm Drain Project

Empowering student action to make a difference in
our local environment and community.

Our Mission

Last Spring students in the Climate Changers after school club identified trash and litter on and around campus as a main concern. We can protect wildlife in Sausal Creek and the San Francisco Bay by working to clean up litter in the community and by not buying or using single use plastics (e.g. plastic packaging, straws, forks and water bottles, etc.) whenever possible. Single use plastics can stay in the environment for hundreds of years!

Public Education

By painting images and/or words near storm drains, you can teach the public about how litter on land harms wildlife in our streams and oceans, and also human health. Every small action helps.

Student Engagement

We shared a survey with the whole school community to vote on which local Sausal Creek wildlife to feature on our stencil and slogan ideas. It was socialized by teachers as well as a call for art submissions. Finalist artwork was then voted on by Ms. Lisa's 3rd Grade Green Team. In March 2021, we will be stenciling winning artwork at select storm drains around the school with those students led by their caregivers.

Final Stencil Artwork

From 50+ students surveyed, they chose to feature these top 3 wildlife: the Great Blue Heron, Leopard Shark and Green Shore Crab. We had many great slogan suggestions, though Ms. Lisa's Green Team chose these winning slogans "Be the Solution, Not the Pollution" by Jude Resnick, Kindergarten (Mr. Fleischman) and "Save Sausal Creek" by Leo Lilien with Spanish translation by Camila Sanchez, both 3rd graders (Ms. Lisa).

Milo Carter-Daniels

1st Place Winner
Great Blue Heron with a turtle on his back and a flying Red Frog
4th gr, Mr. J

Moku Hashitaka

2nd Place Winner
Leopard Shark
2nd gr, Ms. Nordquist

Hadassah Benitez

3rd Place Winner
Green Shore Crab
5th gr, Ms. Jessica

All Artwork Submissions

Milo Carter-Daniels, 4th gr
1st Place Winner

Moku Hashitaka, 2nd gr
2nd Place Winner

Hadassah Benitez, 5th gr
3rd Place Winner

Milo Carter-Daniels, 4th gr

Tommy Fuller-Kellogg, 2nd gr

Sybil Colleton, 1st gr

Juliette Bellenger, 2nd gr

Jude Resnick, K

Leo Lilien, 3rd gr

Leo Lilien, 3rd gr

Leo Lilien, 3rd gr

Leo Lilien, 3rd gr

Aya Tateishi, 3rd gr

Photo Gallery

We had seven students from grades K-5 stencil 11 storm drains nearby the school over two very hot days! Almost all grades were represented — one kinder, one first, one second, two third, one fourth and one fifth grader. In the end, students were proud of themselves and worked well together to paint the streets!

Final stencils

Trash CAn mosaic

Grant funding was secured from Keep Oakland Beautiful to fund the storm drain stenciling project and a mosaic for the litter container in front of our school. An attractive litter container will hopefully encourage community members to use it, therefore reducing litter in the environment. Juan Lopez was the mural artist, who was amazing and very generous in donating a portion of his time to complete this. The artwork is based on native pollinators (bees) critical to the watershed ecosystem.

Mosiac artwork by Juan Lopez

Rear view of trash can at the bus stop


Contact Lara Clayman or Joanne Tateishi to get more information on the projects.