Students Design Rain Barrels
Students in both Pike and Wayne County Schools Districts are designing and painting rain barrels to be auctioned this spring as part of the Every Drop Counts! project. The Pike County Conservation District, along with the Pike/Wayne Conservation Partnership, was awarded a PA Department of Environmental Protection Environmental Education Grant to help educate high school students on water conservation, the impacts of storm water on a watershed and to promote the use of rain barrels. Rain barrels were purchased and then distributed to Canaan Christian Academy, Delaware Valley, Honesdale, and Wallenpaupack high school students to design then paint the rain barrels. Pike and Wayne County Conservation District staff provided information to the students on the benefits of using rain barrels along with information on non-point source pollution, stormwater management and ways they can prevent pollution events around their home and community. Additional funds were provided by the PPL Corporation to assist with the project.
Less than 1% of the water available in the world is available for fresh drinking water. And being that the average household in the US uses about 250 gallons per day - Every Drop Counts! Rain barrels are used to collect rain water from downspouts on homes and businesses. Rain barrels can assist in reducing stormwater runoff around your home or business, conserve water for later use in gardens and washing, and can lower water bills by reducing metered water usage. You can also conserve water by keeping a container of water for drinking in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run, install low flow plumbing fixtures and repair leaks, purchase water saving appliances, or by installing a rain garden.
Students have been working on the Every Drop Counts! project since November and the rain barrels are almost complete! One of the rain barrels will remain with the school as an educational display. The other rain barrels will be put on display at businesses throughout Pike and Wayne Counties until April where they will be collected then auctioned off at the Annual Earth Day event to be held Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 2:00pm. Proceeds from the sale of the rain barrels will go back to the schools that participated to be used for environmental education.
The Pike/Wayne Conservation Partnership will also be hosting a number of educational programs throughout the spring that include topics such as water conservation, non-point source pollution, best management practices to assist with stormwater management, water quality and testing, native plants of our region, green cleaning, home energy efficiency tips, and each program will provide simple ways to be a responsible steward of our clean water. You can find out more about these programs at the Every Drop Counts! website at www.pikeconservation.org/EveryDropCounts.htm.
The Pike/Wayne Conservation Partnership is an alliance of 20 government, non-government, non-profit and grass roots organizations that meet regularly with shared goals for natural resource conservation, sustainable communities and citizen involvement in community planning. Since 2004, the Partnership has pooled resources to present educational programs focused on growth management for local citizens and municipal officials that reach a broad range of participants from across Pike, Wayne and Monroe Counties and into neighboring New York State.
The Pike/Wayne Conservation Partnership includes the Pike County Conservation District, Pike County Office of Community Planning, Delaware Highlands Conservancy, Penn State Extension, The Nature Conservancy, Alliance to Keep Pike Green, The Pinchot Institute for Conservation, the Upper Delaware Roundtable, National Park Service - Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, National Park Service- Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, The Lackawaxen River Conservancy, PPL, Lacawac Sanctuary, Lake Wallenpaupack Watershed Management District, Pocono Environmental Education Center, Wayne Conservation District, the Northeast PA Audubon Society, Lackawanna College, US Forest Service at Grey Towers NHS, and SEEDS (Sustainable Energy Education and Development Support).
All of the rain barrels will be pictured and the participating businesses identified on the Every Drop Counts! project webpage at www.pikeconservation.org/EveryDropCounts.htm. If your business would like to participate in displaying a rain barrel painted by one of the schools please contact Michele Ulmer at the Pike County Conservation District at 570-226-8220. This is a great opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of water conservation and help out your local school!