Beautifying the Community With Painted Rain Barrels

The Mt. Airy Art Garage (MAAG) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are partnering this summer to create and display art, build community and spread the message that small actions in stormwater management can make a big difference.

The project included MAAG's facilitation of a variety of groups from the community, with more than 50 participants ranging in age from 10-85 painting rain barrels. It is part of the City of Philadelphia's Green City, Clean Waters project, which aims to strengthen and protect the city's watersheds by managing stormwater with innovative and community-centric design. "We celebrate artists, bringing children and elders together to paint rain barrels, build community and use art to create a sustainable future," says Linda Slodki, cofounder of MAAG. 

The rain barrel artists included students from Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf and CW Henry School, as well as the Germantown High School Stained Glass Project and Homelink. The barrels will be on display at the EPA’s Public Information Center at 1650 Arch St. in Philadelphia through Sept 20, when they will be returned to the participating schools to be attached to downspouts and connected to a practical stormwater management infrastructure. Rain barrels painted in prior MAAG projects can already be seen at locations throughout Mt. Airy, including Lovett Library. For more information on the project visit


Sarah E Adams is an editorial intern at Grid and can also be found working for Bennett Compost at a farmer’s market near you.