Harbor resident Ralph Martin has a vision andndash; one full of color, creativity and ... fire hydrants?
"Just imagine it, all over town, fire hydrants painted in bright colors and creative images," Martin said.
With the help of Harbor Fire Chief John Brazil and the members of the Harbor Rural Fire Protection District, Martin has launched the Adopt-A-Hydrant Program, open to any residents who would like to adopt and paint an existing hydrant in the Harbor area.
"This is an opportunity to add some beauty to our community by using your creativity and talents to adopt and paint our fire hydrants to resemble whatever you can imagine, within reason," he said.
"We would ask that only positive and uplifting images be painted on the hydrants, and that bright colors be used.Political, pornographic, camouflage, or designs of a disturbing nature will not be acceptable," he said.
Martin would like artists and non-artists of all ages to participate in the program. He requested that people notify him before painting a hydrant by calling him at 541-412-8126.
An example of how a hydrant can be decorated is located at the corner Olsen Lane and West Nelson Drive in Harbor. It was designed and painted by community members, Martin said.
There are more examples available by searching the Internet, he added.
"Many cities around the country have painted their hydrants, and our goal is to provide a positive image of our community for tourists and our neighbors," Martin said.
The cost of adopting a hydrant is a $25 donation to the Harbor Fire Department.
"The money could be raised through individuals, neighbors or business sponsors," he said. "In cases of hardship, the donation amount would be waived."
Brazil likes the idea of painting the hydrants as it will bring awareness to their locations and may encourage residents to keep the grass and bushes around them cut so they are accessible to firefighters.
"It sounded fun so we're going to give it a try and see if it works," Brazil said. "We have a couple hundred hydrants in Harbor."