Local artists are invited to participate in the fourth annual Artistic Rain Barrel program. This year's project is sponsored by the Lincoln Children's Zoo and the Watershed Management Division of the City Public Works and Utilities Department. Applications are due February 3, 2012, and 25 artists will be chosen to paint rain barrels for city-wide display and a public auction this spring.
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 $18,855 for community youth education programs. The 2012 proceeds will help fund the Zoo's environmental education programs.
"One-third of our nation's water bodies are considered impaired, and the Environmental Protection Agency reports that stormwater runoff is a leading cause of water pollution," said Ellen Wright, Environmental Health Educator in Watershed Management. "Rain barrels are simple pollution solutions. Anyone is welcome to participate by transforming a 55-gallon rain barrel into a work of art. Artists will be helping educate the public about the importance of managing stormwater runoff while raising funds for a great cause."
The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality says 46 percent of our local streams are impaired by polluted stormwater. In addition to using rain barrels, residents can help reduce polluted runoff by installing rain gardens, using lake-friendly fertilizers and removing pet waste.
Applications, which include a short summary of the intended design, are available on the City website, lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: rain barrel), and at the City Watershed Management office, 901 N. 6th St. The chosen artists will be notified by February 6, and they will have until March 16 to paint and return the barrels. Barrels will be on display from March 19 to April 16 at Lincoln City Libraries and local businesses. The program will culminate in a public auction from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, April 22 at the City's Earth Day Celebration at Antelope Park. Photos of the barrels and more information will be posted on the City website.
For more information, contact Ellen Wright of Watershed Management at 402-441-7075 or firstname.lastname@example.org.