Students from three schools in Media created designs that were transferred to 133-gallon rain barrels. Designs were based on students’ understanding of the need to direct rain into the ground. The project included a community slide presentation on rain barrels, a rain barrel unveiling and distribution ceremony and student presentations at Media’s Earth Day Festival. The decorated barrels were installed at the schools and in public areas of Media Borough in the spring of 2009.
The Rain Barrel Project, facilitated by the education department of the Stroud Water Research Center, brings together borough government, residents, and three local elementary schools (Nativity BVM, Media Elementary and Media Providence Friends School). Students learned about the problems of stormwater runoff and how that water affects their school, neighborhood and local streams. Based on these lessons, students created designs using paint and outdoor contact film that were transferred to 133 gallon rain barrels. These were installed at their school sites and in public areas of Media Borough that include Media Providence Library, Media Borough Hall and Community Center, and the Firehouse. They also presented posters, demonstrations, songs, and poems as part of the celebration. In all, 360 students participated in the Rain Barrel Project and 85 members of the community were present at the evening lecture and community event.
The Rain Barrel Project provides a demonstration of how even small measures taken by individuals can help to reduce the impacts of urban runoff. The education program presented rain barrels as one of many practices such as rain gardens, green roofs, grassy swales and pervious pavers that can reduce runoff. Several undecorated barrels were made available to residents, and barrels were installed in public areas at Media’s Clean-Up Green-Up Day in April.
The Stroud Water Research Center worked in partnership with Media Borough and the Media Environmental Advisory Council and to make this project a success. Stroud has long been at the forefront of research into the critical role that riparian forest buffers and other best management practices play in the protection of streams, rivers and watersheds. Stroud’s education department works to translate the results of that research and disseminate to a broad audience.
Watershed: Ridley Creek
Stroud Water Research Center
970 Spencer Road
Avondale, PA 19311
610-268-2153 x 249