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When school lets out, most kids are excited. Their heads are filled with visions of hiking, biking, lying in the grass, playing in the sprinkler, and getting a nice long break from homework. Parents, however, often have a different vision. In their minds’ eye, they see their children losing valuable knowledge in what’s known as Read More
(Norwell High School Art Club, Micayla Aroyan, Nate Nottingham, CJ Hudanich, Evelyn Lane and Elizabeth Hanna)
Artists and groups from around the South Shore partnered with the North and South Rivers Watershed Association (NSRWA) to paint rain barrels that will be raffled off to raise funds and awareness for the organization’s WaterSmart program.
The goal of the raffle is to provide education to students and adults on water conservation through a creative and engaging platform.
Marshfield High School’s Green Team contributed a rain barrel on display at the Ventress Memorial Library that has the ocean and drawings of endangered Northern Right Whale painted on it.
“Many of the team members were fascinated with the pod of whales that visited this spring on their annual migration,” said James Merritt, the advisor for the Green Team. “Most of the students did not know what a rain barrel was.”
The team has reached out to the community about waste management in the past. Members created educational recycling bin covers for the high school and participated in Marshfield’s Annual Clean Up Day in April.
“Just by participating in this project it brought curiosity to the issue,” said Merritt. “That curiosity inspires conversations, which hopefully led to new discoveries and knowledge on the issue of water conservation.”
Norwell High School’s Art Club also painted a barrel for the raffle that is on display at the Norwell Public Library.
“The students definitely enjoyed using art to bring awareness to water conservation,” said Nathalie Coughlin, an advisor to the club. “It got a lot of attention in our classroom space due to the size of the barrel and that was a great way to start the conversation about water conservation.”
Lori Wolfe, NSRWA Director of Marketing and WaterSmart Program Manager, came up with the project and believes that using art to create a dialogue about water conservation is important.
“I happen to be an artist, so I think art definitely increases engagement,” said Wolfe. “Having a physical piece that people can see in person reinforces the message we’re trying to put out there. Plus, people always love a chance to win something free!”
Wolfe wants to better educate South Shore residents on the importance of water conservation after a serious drought a few summers ago.
“We don’t want to get to that crisis point again,” said Wolfe. “Water is a valuable resource, especially here on the South Shore, so it’s important to use it wisely. Conserving water or using it efficiently, as well as controlling pollution, will help ensure it is available for people, plants and animals now and in the future.”
Susan Giusti, a resident of Hanson, painted a rain barrel for the Pembroke Public Library.
“I started painting about a year ago,” said Giusti. “A friend of mine saw the posting on the NSRWA Facebook page and told me about it. I thought this would be a nice way to use my new hobby to contribute to the community.”
Giusti felt the need to give back to the community and help people become more aware about environmental conservation.
“I hope that all the barrels spark conversations about conserving our natural resources in order to protect their beauty,” said Giusti. “
average homeowner can do their part just by using a rain barrel.”
Laurie Detwiler, a resident of Norwell, painted a barrel for Hanover, to show people a simple way to take part in the conversation on water conservation.
“Water conservation is easy, but people don’t always know where to start,” said Detwiler. “The rain barrels make it a fun and visual way to make the point.”
Detwiler’s everyday life is impacted by the North River, where she and her family fishes in the warmer months. They’re also birdwatchers and boaters.
“Our family life revolves around the rivers,” said Detwiler. “We are active supporters of the wetland conservation. The health of the watershed is critical for all of us who enjoy the unique beauty of the South Shore.”
All of the painted rain barrels are on display in local libraries where entries to the raffle are being collected as well as online.
Paper submissions will be accepted through June 30. Boxes will be picked up on July 2 and the names will be chosen on July 3. Winners will be contacted and arrangements will be made for them to pick up the barrels at their locations.
For more information visit www.nsrwa.org.