Rain barrel Roundup

Rain Barrel Awareness Project


Project Timeline

The project would begin in February of 2017. When students returned from break, there would be advertisements and emails calling for UIC undergraduate and graduate students to display the four UIC Climate Commitments in their own creative way. Students would have three weeks to submit proposals. In March, four students would be selected to create the rain barrels. There would be a meeting for introductions and more education around the rain barrels and their function on campus. During this meeting, a day for the project would be selected for a weekday in April. On the selected day, the artists chosen and those assisting would set up the rain barrels in the quad on campus. There would be interactive posters highlighting what each value represents and the importance to campus life. When the rain barrels are ready, either that evening or the next, they would be installed at locations across campus.


Project Description

The idea behind the rain barrels would be to bring awareness to UIC students about how precious our freshwater is and educate about the Climate Commitments UIC has. It would be an interactive, demonstrative, and educational opportunity. The rain barrels would be painted in theme to the UIC Climate Commitments outlined in their overview. The students chosen would theme their art around these principles and a committee would help create informative posters. Each barrel would have a plaque to explain the significance of the climate commitment. The water collected in these barrels would be used to water the Heritage Garden as well as other green spaces around campus. This water could also be treated and used in other capacities.


Preliminary Project Budget

The estimated budget for this project would be six hundred dollars. The rain barrels at fifty five gallons are approximately seventy dollars each. An additional two hundred would be requested to provide eco-friendly art supplies for the students creating the rain barrels. An estimated one hundred would be invested in advertising and awareness. Overall, an affordable project with a rewarding payoff.


Below is an example of what a rain barrel could look like:

A rain barrel painted by Michael Costello to be silently auctioned for the Whatcom Land Trust.

http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/artfulrainbarrel.htm You can learn more here.


7 thoughts on “Rain barrel Roundup

  1. I also proposed rain barrels on campus, however my LOI blog lacked the creativity your idea has. We should team up to submit an LOI! I love the idea of painting the barrels as the climate commitment themes; that adds creativity and increased awareness to students. Emailing UIC undergrads and graduates to display the four climate commitments in their own way is a great way to get students involved. I’d love to write up a proposal with you to make this idea happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your idea is very creative. Saving up the storm water and having other uses for it is amazing. Around my neighborhood there are people who have barrels for that purpose. Also, their garden is very beautiful and green. The storm water can help water the plants and other uses for it as well. I found a website similar to your idea!



  3. This sounds like an awesome idea. It directly involves the students so it’s engaging too. I was wondering if this could be an recurring thing, and make a big deal about unveiling the newest water barre each season, a ceremony of sorts. I think students would love to see the growth of the project over time.


  4. I love this so much, it rains a lot here, yet we do not utilize what mother nature gives us. My sister painted rain barrels in high school for a fundraiser and it is such a productive way of combining the act of bringing awareness and creating something cool for campus. I am interested in this a lot and I would totally be on the proposal team! I think if we had rain barrels all around campus it would be amazing! Maybe you could even get more rain barrels and have UIC art students paint them so that we could auction them off for profits to buy even more for campus!


  5. Your idea is very creative! I love that incorporating students in the process and painting the barrels makes this sort of an informative art project. My idea was similar in that we’d gather precipitations that had fallen on campus to water our green spaces. I think both you and I, along with the others that had this similar idea, should brain storm and create a final LOI.


  6. Your idea is well crafted, and I like the idea of rain barrels. This sounds like an inexpensive project that could be fun for student artists. What would the advertising look like, would it be posters around campus, having all teachers give a brief description the first day of class or sending out emails? I like the idea of the rain water being used to water plants or grass on campus. I have a question, would this happen every year or would the rai barrels be stored during the winter and reused each year?


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