Rain Barrels for Free!
I love my two bright blue rain barrels. They collected enough rain water last year that we did not use the hose even once to water the garden! Not only does this lower our water bill, it saves the resources used to clean the water through the sanitary sewer system.
There's a great opportunity for people who leave in Clintonville to install rain barrels for free in a small geographic location sponsored by Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed. From FLOW watershed coordinator Heather Dean, "Eligible households who agree to participate in the program will receive 1-3 free rain barrels to install on their property. The target area is:400-500 blocks of E. Tulane, 400-500 blocks of E. Tibet (south side only), 400-500 blocks of E. Crestview (north side only), 400 block of Kelso, 2700-2800 blocks of W. Kensington Pl., and Indianola Ave, between Olentangy Blvd. and Tibet. Rd. (east side only)." We live two houses from the 400 block of E Tibet, sadly out of the zone.
FLOW is holding an orientation meeting with Mayor Michael Coleman on March 9 at 6:30 PM at Overbrook Presbyterian Church at 4131 N. High St. I plan to attend to show my support for this type of program and home gardening in general. Heather Dean is collecting RSVPs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 267-3386.
Columbus residents not in the targeted area who would like to obtain a rain barrel may do so through the FLOW cost share program, which allows you to purchase a barrel for a discounted price of $30 when you attend a rain barrel workshop. You can register for that program on-line at www.olentangywatershed.org. Reports are that the workshops are filling fast!
My favorite source for barrels is the friendly folks at Rain Brothers. I chatted with them at the OEFFA conference where they showed off their newest barrel, the Rain Station pictured at left. It holds 60 gallons and hooks directly into your gutter through a clever insert. At $109 for the whole setup, it is a great decorative addition to any garden. I'm also attracted to the culvert rain catchers. We are adding some beds this year so a new barrel might be useful.
There are places where catching water is not legal. We're lucky in Ohio to be surrounded by resources that enable rain collection. Let's show them our support!