The public is invited to see the 25 rain barrels painted by local artists as part of the fifth annual Recycling Raindrops: Artistic Rain Barrel Program. The barrels are on display through April 19 throughout SouthPointe Pavilions® Shopping Center, 27th and Pine Lake Road. The Artistic Rain Barrel Program is sponsored by the Lincoln Children's Zoo and the Watershed Management Division of the City Public Works and Utilities Department in cooperation with SouthPointe.
Rain barrels are above-ground containers modified to receive, store and distribute rooftop runoff for non-drinking uses. The Artistic Rain Barrel Program has raised more than $24,000 for community youth education programs.
"If Zoo Director John Chapo and I have our way, these 25 extraordinary rain barrels will help make standard rain barrels far more ordinary in Nebraska," said Ellen Wright, an Environmental Health Educator in Watershed Management who organized the program. "This community art program raises awareness of the adverse effects of urban stormwater runoff. By installing a rain barrel, homeowners can help improve our water quality by slowing the flow of rain water runoff. More importantly, it helps keep pollutants like motor oil, pet waste and other contaminants out of our wetlands, lakes and streams."
Wright thanked the artists participating in the program. She said SouthPointe also demonstrates its environmental awareness by partnering with the Lincoln Electric System in its annual Sustainable Living Festival and by recycling more than 300,000 pounds of cardboard each year.
The rain barrels will be auctioned April 20 at SouthPointe to benefit the Lincoln Children's Zoo's environmental education programs. Individuals wanting to purchase barrels prior to the auction may use a new "Buy Now" feature, using their smart phone to scan the QR code placed near each rain barrel or logging onto the Zoo's website "Buy Now" page at www.lincolnzoo.org. More information about the rain barrels and this program is available on the City website, lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: rain barrel). More information also is available by contacting Wright at 402-441-7075 or firstname.lastname@example.org.