WHEELING, W.Va. – Well-known environmental activist Erin Brockovich will serve as a judge for Wheeling’s Water Pollution Control Division’s (WPCD) logo contest.
Launched in July, the contest asked Ohio County youth to get creative and assist with a design that will ultimately be featured on the facility’s new signage.
Industrial Pretreatment & FOG Coordinator Mike Chiazza came up with the idea for the contest that received more than 100 entries. He sent a message sharing the details of the contest to Brockovich via her website and received a response the following day.
“I told her what we were doing and sent the press release that announced the contest. She then gave a shout out to our efforts in her e-newsletter, The Brockovich Report and agreed to serve as a judge to select a winner,” he said.
Brockovich said she is pleased to be working with the City of Wheeling on such a project.
“As a young child my father taught me to cherish nature and would even sing me songs about water, I’m thrilled to be working with the City of Wheeling, West Virginia to help instill a love of the environment in young people,” she said.
WPCD personnel served as judges for the first round of the contest, narrowing down the 104 entries to the top 25. Local celebrity judges – Wheeling Councilor Rosemary Ketchum, WTRF 7 Reporter D.K. Wright and WPCD Staffer Amanda Kerns will select the top 10 entries that will be forwarded on to Brockovich to select a winner.
All of the entries will be displayed for public viewing from 4-8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 21 at the Clientele Art Studio, 43 – 15th St., Wheeling.
Chiazza said he is excited about the contest and the interest it received.
“I think Wheeling is in a great position to transform itself into a more environmentally sustainable city. We don’t want to just prevent water pollution, but we want to recycle and treat the wastewater and reuse it. Reusing treated wastewater is becoming more important especially with drought conditions in other parts of the country where wastewater is essentially being transformed to tap water. I think getting this new generation involved in solving water issues can help us get our local waterways cleaned up and, in the future, when today’s youth are adults and leading our country, we will be better off from an environmental perspective,” he said.
In addition to having his or her artwork featured on WPCD signage, the winner of the logo contest will receive a $500 gift card and be recognized by City Council.