Roll Out the Rain Barrels!!
Nearly 42 artfully decorated rain barrels were unveiled today at the Cincinnati Zoo’s “Go Green Garden”. Hamilton County Commissioner, Todd Portune served as the keynote speaker at today’s event. Several of the artists participated in the event along with officials from the Zoo.
“These rain barrels are a fantastic opportunity to help showcase a simple way to conserve water and have some fun along the way. I am confident that most area residents would be proud to display one of these barrels in their yard,” said Portune. He sees the rain barrels as a vivid symbol that helps area citizens recognize our regional water quantity issues. “Obviously a single rain barrel will not make the combined sewer problem go away. But collectively, a concerted action by homeowners countywide will become part of what the average citizen can do to conserve water.”
The program began last fall with the recruiting of artists. “We reached out to artists throughout the region,” said Ken Perica, Rain Barrel Program Coordinator. “Our primary goal is to educate the public about water conservation and we chose to do it with these beautiful products.” Rain barrels are growing in popularity but one of their drawbacks is their dull and drab appearance. “When you look around the garden here, it is difficult to select a favorite. I think the public will be very excited once they become available at the upcoming auction,” said Perica.
On April 18th, selected rain barrels will be part of a silent auction during the Party for the Planet celebration in conjunction with the Tunes ‘n Blooms music festival. The auction will be hosted by the organization – “Save Local Waters”. The event begins at 5 pm and will be part of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s “Party for the Planet” Earth Day Celebration.
The Cincinnati Zoo is an active partner in the ‘Save Local Waters’ rain barrel project. “As the greenest zoo in America, we are always looking for ways to inspire our community to take small actions that can impact the wild places and faces we are committed to protect,” said the Zoo’s Sustainability Coordinator Sophia Cifuentes. “These rain barrels are a great example of how we can do just that. Not only are they an easy (and beautiful) way to harness rainwater, but many of the artists that painted the barrels engaged in conversations about ecology and environmental stewardship.”
The project was initiated through “Save Local Waters,” an initiative created by the Regional Storm Water Collaborative (RSWC). The RSWC is composed of representatives from Storm Water Districts, Municipalities, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and partner organizations from throughout the Ohio River Valley. The Collaborative uses mass media and shared resources to raise awareness about regional environmental quality issues. This includes education to the general public regarding proper storm water practices along with other sustainable water quality and water conservation actions.
For additional information, contact Ken Perica at firstname.lastname@example.org 513.659.5902. Or visit the web site www.savelocalwaters.org.