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Will this Stormwater Poem Get Your Creative Juices Flowing? A Stormwater Poetry Challenge? Write and Win!

We’ve closed an important chapter and started a new year

Yet there’s still much to do so we’re still in high gear!

But before we move on we thought we’d look back

2010 in review, stormwater unpacked.

We start with Prop O which saw lots of action

As a few River Projects finally got traction.

BMP chatter, Wetland conservation

And even a couple Green Street Presentations.

Speaking of Green Streets, there’s Riverdale too

Whose green reconstructions made their debut.

And we brought out an army to Playa Del Rey

An army of kids for Kids Ocean Day.

The plastic bag ban in LA County happened

As biblical rain left all of us dampened.

But rain is a resource as much as annoyance

Or it will soon be with the LID Ordinance.

23 (and counting) underground low flow diversions

And a NoHo retrofit alley conversion.

Yes, one year goes down and it’s on to another

With your help we’ll make 2011 great for our water.

Are your creative juices flowing? Want to give your own water poem a go? Put together a couplet, haiku, sonnet, epic, any sort of poem about LA water or stormwater in the comment box below. All entrants will receive a free clean water t-shirt and then we’ll pick a couple of our favorites to publish in the next issue of the LA Stormwater e-newsletter. Entries are due by end of February– we can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store!


Comments (45)

  1. Sarah Wiehl
    February 10th, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    LA Stormwater knows what to do,
    The LID Ordinance comes none too soon!
    Rain is a resource, invaluable and real,
    People of opposition will just have to deal!
    If we think outside ourselves and see from above,
    how can anybody review and declare “that’s enough!”
    We need to be sustainable and protect our resources,
    return to the earth, love bestowed upon us.
    Do you part and act in good faith,
    let’s work together for a greener, healthier place.

  2. frances
    February 10th, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Can’t tell where the verses are ‘spose to be submitted. Here’s mine…

    Stormwater drops in the barrel
    instead of out in the sea
    bring home grown flowers and veggies
    to thrifty gardeners like me.

  3. Kim Hieatt
    February 10th, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Rainwater flows downhill,
    We must save this precious liquid,
    but do we have the will?

    The ocean is home to our fishes,
    The land is home to us folks.
    We must learn how to wash our dishes
    So our kid’s future isn’t so dry.
    Our sprinklers must be timed shorter
    The shade trees must be grown tall.
    We must share, recycle and reuse
    And we must carpool and not be shy!

  4. Michael Espinosa
    February 10th, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    My poem:

    Eating candy bar
    Put wrapper in my pocket
    Ocean is happy

  5. Kim Hieatt
    February 10th, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Clanking along with my water bottle.
    Staying hydrated.
    Landfills are happy.

  6. RLH
    February 10th, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    If people had
    as many
    rain barrels
    as phone apps…

  7. MNoeng
    February 10th, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Water filters through
    A grassy lined bioswale
    Water is now clean

  8. Vicki
    February 10th, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    bags have no place here
    oh we are the tide flows here and now
    great blue heron dreams

  9. kata
    February 10th, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    If we get the rain to percolate into the ground,
    Our water supply would abound,
    Our conservation efforts would astound,
    And by imported water we would not longer be bound!

  10. R Moore
    February 10th, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Once I felt gloom in Los Angeles rain,
    And stayed dry inside, waiting out the cascades.
    Now doors I fling open, sing joyous refrains,
    Dance in the puddles, let cheerlessness fade.
    The reason is this: a rain barrel have I,
    A huge jar of plastic, shaped like a bean,
    That sits in my driveway to capture the sky
    And keep our town wetter and healthy and green.

  11. Brandon Gauthier
    February 10th, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Keep the water clean
    Or else I get MEAN

  12. Rod Davis
    February 10th, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Rain, the resource
    Runs its course
    Until the course runs over
    And floods freeway shoulders
    Then the program from LA Stormwater
    Manages the flow without barter
    So that the usuable that remains
    Is clean and fresh, we ascertain
    From the oceans and streams, rivers and the Bay
    We thank the City of LA!

  13. Bob Duitsman
    February 10th, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Rain, the elixer of nature
    So clean and so pure as can be
    A gift to be respected and treasured.
    As it moves from the clouds to the sea.

  14. Maria Elena Hernandez
    February 10th, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Waterways of L.A. long ago
    Scenes of beauty, life, and work
    Tongva sipped waters pure
    Frogs leaped from rock to shore
    Birds bathed
    Fowl floated
    Fish swam
    Sun rays bounced
    Currents rippled and gurggled
    and made
    Stones roll merrily downstream
    Shady oaks lined arroyos
    Cienegas covered the flatlands
    Lush wetlands welcomed wildlife
    and so
    Such was the way in L.A.
    When the water ran free

  15. Maria Chee
    February 10th, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    H2O on Earth
    Water is valuable
    H2O we need

  16. Joel Goldes
    February 10th, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Filling a trash bag
    While walking my leaping dog
    Keeps creeks, ocean clean.

  17. Dee Farnsworth
    February 10th, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Silver flickering
    catching sunlight in river
    I see a hubcap

  18. Erik Alcaraz
    February 11th, 2011 at 7:31 am

    Ignorance will not be my scuse
    now I know about recycle and reuse
    I will do my best to keep it clean
    and keep it green
    cheers to a wonderful future

  19. Pam Prichard
    February 11th, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Birds feed at ocean’s edge
    Dolphins, whales and surfers play
    Clean water sustains

  20. David Wolfberg
    February 11th, 2011 at 9:11 am

    If you catch your own runoff
    you can shoot for the stars
    and raise fish in a barrel

  21. Tramanh Bui
    February 11th, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Oh Stormwater, Rain Water, water
    Those some Californian welcomes you
    Others give you a blue whine
    Regardless of what Californian thinks
    Yearly you come refreshing our ground
    For what you’ve done and will
    We, the LA City cleans your way
    Welcome you with a golden drain
    ‘Cause you’re our princess and prince
    and ’cause we want to say thanks.

  22. Scotty
    February 11th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Oh rain water, why wash down our streets,
    Not be harvested and reused isn’t neat,
    If everyone could collect a little they would see,
    that their plants will be glowing .
    with happiness
    yes sir reee…

    If people would care the planet would glow.
    Having the City of LA give rebates
    for home grey waters systems
    would be so special you know.

    Save the planet while you have time
    or sit back and do nothing
    with a glass of cheap wine!

  23. Brian
    February 11th, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Hooray for LA LID.
    We are happy for you here in BC.
    Your efforts will be used to show,
    what we can all do to manage rain, and in the case of BC … snow.

    From: Surrey, BC (British Columbia), Canada

  24. Steve Ohara
    February 12th, 2011 at 9:30 am

    The color of money has always been green,
    but the forces of money caused the ocean to sheen
    The public realized something must be done,
    but this is not a crime that was a result of a gun
    To truely correct and right the wrong,
    we must all work together and just get along.

  25. Norma
    February 13th, 2011 at 2:11 am

    Water is nice.
    It’s better when it’s clean.
    When it falls from the sky
    it can be put it a container. Save it for later.
    Where’s my shirt?

  26. Norma
    February 13th, 2011 at 2:17 am

    Rain is fun.
    Water is clear.
    It’s good to be clear for fun.

  27. Marlene Talley
    February 14th, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Keep it clean and green
    For the next generation
    So the diversity can be seen

  28. Hudson Gauthier
    February 14th, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Water should be clear not the color of beer

  29. Edith Moreno
    February 14th, 2011 at 9:06 am


    Clean streets are awesome
    Reduces urban runoff
    I love clean beaches!

  30. Catherine Vargas
    February 14th, 2011 at 11:03 am

    love the water,
    love the sea,
    oh how happy I’ll be
    following all the rivers
    keeping them clean
    gives me the shivers.

  31. Rick Szabo
    February 14th, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Stormwater runoff in LA city,
    Can be loaded with bad stuff, can you say gritty?
    Diligence is the key – we cannot snooze,
    If even one slacks off – we ALL lose,
    With a result that won’t be pretty.

  32. Mimi
    February 14th, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    rain gurgles down gutter
    captured in barrel
    saving rainy day for later.

  33. Lisa
    February 15th, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    water sparkle bright
    feeding birds and full of life
    not greening my lawn

  34. Art de Llanos
    February 16th, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Ode to the Stormwater Division, Two versions

    When I thought of water resembling beer,
    My initial thought was, ‘oh dear!’
    But, with City folks at work,
    As they cleared the murk,
    My sad frown gave way
    To a smile that day!

    When one thinks of stormwater resembling beer,
    The initial reaction may be “oh dear!”,
    But with City folks hard at work,
    Collecting, cleaning and disposing of murk,
    That sad, sad frown soon fades away,
    Replaced with a smile that very same day!

  35. Christine
    February 16th, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I used to think, “Heal the Bay? –
    Yeah, that will be the day.”
    But thanks to the Stormwater Program
    We’re on our way.

    In neighborhoods big & small
    Smart Stormwater Projects help our City stand tall
    Thanks to native planting and river beautification for all,
    Toxic brew is being replaced
    with clean water, filtered at mother nature’s pace

  36. Bill Loranca
    February 16th, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    To recycle our trash we have a plan,
    To clean our air we do what we can,
    To recycle our water just stop the flow,
    Give it back to the ground and watch the world grow.

  37. TJ Knight
    February 24th, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Don’t dump that used oil
    Into the street my neighbor
    Respect marine life

  38. George S.
    February 24th, 2011 at 11:00 am

    My Haiku:

    Storm drains are filling,
    Rainfall batters the City,
    Rain barrels needed.

  39. Ben
    February 24th, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Protect LA River & local creek
    by keeping pollution off the street
    Polluted stormwater harms the sea
    So be aware; it’s up to you and me
    Clean up street before the rain
    So it won’t end up in the storm drain
    In place of asphalt, concrete and brick
    Plant a tree; use your shovel and pick
    Help urban run off with rainwater harvest
    Also because of drought in the west
    Participate in a beach clean up day
    Help marine life and “Heal the Bay”

  40. Joe
    February 25th, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Respect our water
    hold yourself accountable
    throw away your trash

  41. Steve Skale
    February 27th, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Cool, Fresh, Sparkling, Clear,
    All the year through,
    Strongly pulling through the swell,
    Swimming like this completes you.
    It makes you, every week, every day,
    But Oh-Oh – raining today:
    No swim tomorrow,
    Or the days after,

  42. Adrienne
    February 28th, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    heavy winter rains
    coming down for days, non stop
    brings much needed water

  43. LA Stormwater
    March 1st, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Thank you all for participating in our poetry challenge! Great job coming up with awesome and fun to read poems! Make sure to be on the lookout for an email requesting for your name and mailing address so we can send you a FREE clean water t-shirt!

  44. Karsen bonifer
    January 24th, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Clean the water
    Save the whales
    Fill your pails
    Do your part
    And soon you should start
    For the longer we go
    While the oceans a-flo
    The cleaner the ocean will be

    • LA Stormwater
      January 25th, 2012 at 1:36 pm

      Hi Karsen, Thanks for submitting a stormwater poem! This contest has ended, but you’re in luck because we are currently running a Clean Water Video contest where you can win a FREE T-shirt! All you have to do is answer 5 easy LA Stormwater video questions and you’ll win a FREE T-shirt! Submit your answers in the comment section of the post:

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