A community based art project managed by Felice Salmon, The Rain Barrel Project sought to creatively solve a community issue with storm water runoff through community designed rain barrels.
How can neighbors creatively tackle the challenge of overfilled storm drains and
unmanageable storm water runoff? Is there a way for us to utilize rainwater more effectively? Could we brighten up our neighborhood and bring more plants into shared spaces? These are the questions neighbors were asking that led to The Rain Barrel Project.
Over the course of a spring and summer, neighbors gathered together to create & paint rain barrels for installation at private residences and apartment complexes. What a sight to see! Colorful rain barrels appeared across the neighborhood! Our homes began to form an outdoor gallery. At the painting party we had in May, folks were swapping paint brushes, mixing colors, and helping each other haul freshly primed barrels. Then, a few short months later, we got to see the results of our combined effort!
Additionally, native plants capable of channeling water more deeply into the earth than
paved surfaces were distributed to neighbors to plant in rain gardens throughout the
neighborhood. Ultimately, this project gave neighbors a unique opportunity to join with
other neighbors to help creatively manage a storm water issue & grow connectivity in the neighborhood.
The rain barrels, gardens, and connections that came from this project have continued to benefit our neighborhood. Gardening that was done over the course of a few months established healthy rain gardens that have lasted.
Working with my neighbors on The Rain Barrel Project, I discovered that the best way to encourage water conservation and spread the word about storm water pollution was to promote the benefits of rain gardens and create a network of support to surround folks as they were working toward creating their own distinctive gardens. Whether someone chooses to garden in a simple way or create extravagant, blooming beds full of bees, let the gardens grow!
Funded by LFUCG and in collaboration with The Living Arts & Science Center.