Despite dark gray rain clouds threatening to let loose Monday morning, students and adults kept painting a colorful mural on the side of a portable classroom facing the playground at College Park Elementary School.
The mural at the Costa Mesa campus featured hands holding the Earth inside a raindrop, with a rainbow above and brightly colored flowers on the side. The slogans "Save Water Every Day" along the top and "No Excuses" on the bottom will be added later.
"It adds color to our school — [the school's] all gray, blue and white, and boom," said fourth-grader Jessica Zamora, 9, pointing to the mural she helped paint. Jessica also helped design part of it.
Members of Operation Clean Slate, a Costa Mesa-based nonprofit, with Mesa Consolidated Water District lead the students in painting the mural. Pacific Life Insurance Co. provided funding.
Adams Elementary School was the recipient of a similar mural about saving water last year.
The College Park mural comes at a time when funds for campus beautification projects are hard to come by, said Principal Julie McCormick.
"This is such a beautiful mural to have on campus," she said. "It's so colorful, and it will carry a very important message on conservation for many years."
The mural is meant to brighten up the school while reminding students about the importance of saving water, said Michael Howard, the executive director of Operation Clean Slate.
"It's an important issue for us in Southern California. We live in a dry climate," he said. "For years to come, water is going to be an important issue."
Mesa Consolidated board member Jim Atkinson, who was also out painting Monday morning, said the community is saving water, but more needs to be done.
"I'd like to see all the schools with a mural with a water message," he said. "The education of our kids about water is an important message. It's really important that they learn that message young and carry it throughout their lives."