(HARRISBURG, PA)—The Harrisburg Rain Barrel Coalition will be on site this Saturday, July 20th, at the Wormleysburg River Day festival to help educate area residents about the benefits of using rain barrels to collect rainwater from rooftops. Decorative, hand-painted barrels will also be available for sale.
The Coalition, formed just a few months ago through a grant from Jump Street, works with local youth groups and other nonprofits to transform barrels into unique works of art—with a purpose. Last weekend the International House of Harrisburg donated 12 barrels to the Coalition and provided over 150 of their international students the opportunity to learn about environmental issues, the Susquehanna River, the Chesapeake Bay, and to be creative—by painting rain barrels.
Rain barrels collect rain water from rooftops, decreasing the amount of stormwater entering our municipal sewer systems, and reducing the amount of water exposed to pollutants like pesticides and fertilizers that flow into local streams and rivers.
Home owners who install rain barrels on their downspouts also conserve water by utilizing the rain water to water gardens and plants.
The rain barrels can be viewed on the Harrisburg Rain Barrel Coalition Facebook page, and will be sold for $50 this Saturday at the Wormleysburg River Day. All proceeds go to the purchase and painting of additional rain barrels. Quantities available on Saturday are limited, but the Coalition is working to schedule additional painting workshops and expects to have more for sale at various events throughout the year.
Members of the Harrisburg Rain Barrel Coalition include: Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Covenant Community Corporation, Harrisburg Authority, Harrisburg Habitat for Humanity, and Jump Street Harrisburg.
The student-artists, who are residents of International House Harrisburg, are from over a dozen different countries including China, Jamaica, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Moldova painted the rain barrels for the Rain Barrel Coalition at Strawberry Square during their Summer Soir̩e. The International House Harrisburg has hosted over 2,000 students from 95 different countries since its founding in 2002.