Updated Thu, Nov 14, 2013 2:10 pm
Don’t be surprised to see a plow truck decorated with snowmen and Christmas trees drive by. It was probably painted by a child in your community.
For the first time, the Ohio Department of Transportation District 10 has partnered with area schools on the Paint the Plow project, which tasks school-age students with decorating the plow blade. District 10 comprises nine counties in southeastern Ohio: Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Vinton and Washington.
Schools at Alexander, Athens, Nelsonville-York and Trimble are participating.
When Nelsonville-York High School teachers Sam Campbell and Josh Woodburn were invited to take part, they jumped at the chance. Campbell is the school’s new art teacher. Woodburn teaches industrial arts.
“This has been a unique way to collaborate our classes,” Woodburn said. “It’s also great exposure for the arts in schools.”
Industrial arts students prepped the 4-foot-by-11-foot blade by painting it with an orange base coat (orange and brown are the school’s colors). Most of their paint was donated by Saving Hardware in Nelsonville. Using a design created by senior Neil
Polley, they then wrote “Snow Days” in graffiti-style lettering. The “o” was replaced with a buckeye, the school’s mascot.
The back of the plow, which will be seen by the plow’s driver, is being decorated by students in the school’s drawing class. Students like sophomore Vicki Osborne were busy painting Christmas trees and snowmen on Wednesday morning.
“I think it’s fun,” Osborne said of the project. “We get out of the environment of the art room and get to do something we’re not used to doing. We get to personalize this and make it our own.”
The finishing touch will be painting Nelsonville-York High School across the top of the blade using a stencil.
ODOT districts in northern Ohio piloted the painting program last year, explained David Rose, the district’s public information officer.
“It helps create community engagement about winter readiness,” Rose said. “It also brings recognition to the schools.”
All of the decorated plows will be entered into local Christmas parades.