"Water Feeds Life," one of the class collaboration designs in the contest | Image via phillywatersheds.orgWhile the classic blue rain barrel is an important stormwater management tool, it doesn’t do much to beautify backyards. So as a jointenvironmental education and urban revitalization effort, the Mural Arts Program, Philadelphia Water Department and Fairmount Water Works are sponsoring a youth design contest. Students ages 11 to 21 have been asked to decorate PWD’s blue rain barrels with original works of art. The winners will be featured on PWD’s next barrel giveaway—rain barrels are available free of charge to all city residents.
Using the same shrink-wrap technology employed by the Mural Arts program to beautify Philadelphia’s now-famous army of colorful recycling trucks, students—from the Laura W. Waring School and YESPhilly—have submitted group and individual pieces on the themes “Philly Pride” and “Benefits of Rain Barrels for Nature.”
Eight finalists remain. Now your help is needed to decide the three winners. Vote now for the designs you’d like to see PWD’s next batch of rain barrels. Voting ends Wednesday, February 13. To get your own blue barrel, visit PWD.
ALEX JACOBS is the Grid intern for spring 2013. He is a junior history major at Haverford College.