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Skip Navigation LinksDNREC : News : DNREC sponsors rain barrel painting contest to promote barrels’ use in reducing rainwater runoff

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Contact: Sara Wozniak, DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship, 302-382-0335, or email:  

DNREC sponsors rain barrel painting contest
to promote barrels’ use in reducing rainwater runoff

DOVER (Jan. 14, 2014) – DNREC and the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) are sponsoring a rain-barrel painting contest as a fun way to educate the public on the benefits of using the barrels to reduce rainwater runoff and improve water quality. Artists from throughout the state will be selected and invited to paint creative designs on a rain barrel for public display.

DNREC and DelDOT judges will choose artists based on their applications and prospective designs for their rain barrels. Once Delaware artists have been selected by the judges, they will have five weeks to paint and return their barrels. The winning barrels will be displayed at the Delaware Agricultural Museum in Dover during the month of April, with the grand prize winner later also having their rain barrel placed at Woodburn, the Governor’s Residence, for display.

Not only will visitors to the museum and governor’s residence be viewing the winning rain barrel artworks, but photos of all decorated barrels will be publicized and also posted on the Delaware Watersheds website, Additionally, following the contest, the rain barrels will be made available for display at Delaware events, at state businesses, and municipal government offices, and also given as prizes for social media contests.

To participate, an artist or group of artists must submit a completed application postmarked or dated (if emailed) no later than February 14. Each artist selected for the contest must be willing to donate time, creativity, a short biography and interpretation of design, paint, and the use of brushes or other application tools. In exchange, DNREC’s Rain Barrel Program will provide a fully-assembled and primed rain barrel, sandpaper, top coat, bubble wrap, and a location to temporarily display your work.

Applications can be found at, and completed applications must be returned (by Feb. 14, 2014) to:

DNREC Rain Barrel Painting Contest
C/o Sara Wozniak
2430 Old County Road
Newark, DE 19702 

About rain barrels: A rain barrel is a container that collects and stores the water from roofs and downspouts for future uses such as watering lawns, gardens, and house plants; cleaning off gardening tools; and washing your car.

Rain barrels help to lower your water bills, particularly in the summer months by collecting thousands of gallons of free water a year that homeowners don’t have to buy! Rain barrels are also important for our environment because they help reduce water pollution by decreasing the amount of stormwater runoff reaching our streams and rivers. The average rainfall of one inch within a 24 hour period can produce more than 700 gallons of water that run off a typical house. While it’s running from our homes and lawns, this stormwater picks up anything on the ground such as litter, excess fertilizer, pet waste, and motor oil and transports it to storm drains that do not treat the water before dumping it directly into our waterways. Rain barrels play an important role in protecting our water resources by collecting the stormwater runoff from our homes before it reaches our local streams and rivers.

For more information please contact Sara Wozniak at 302-382-0335 or email:   

Vol. 44, No. 9

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