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Students from Three Schools Collaborate on Environmental Project

May 18, 2010

LIBERTY, NY – A colorful, creative way to conserve thousands of gallons of water is on display throughout Sullivan County.  The “Rain Barrel Connection” – a collaboration of almost 100 students from three schools – has created 30 beautifully painted rain barrels that will be auctioned off on June 12th at the Livingston Manor Trout Parade.  The barrels have the potential to save homeowners 1300 gallons of water during peak summer months.

The project – supported by Sullivan Renaissance, Sullivan County Division of Planning and Environmental Management and the Delaware Highlands Conservancy – brought together the talents of students from the Tri-Valley Natural Resources Program, BOCES Career & Tech Auto Body students and art students from Liberty Central School.

The Tri-Valley and BOCES students built the rain barrels, outfitting a 55 gallon food-grade plastic barrel with a spout, overflow and lid that lets water in, but keep mosquitoes out.  They were then painted by the Liberty art students, who turned the plain blue barrels into individual works of art.

“This project allowed so many students to become more aware of their environment AND their abilities – in creating, in giving and in being a part of a multifaceted project,” said Liberty High School Art Teacher, Kathy Lambert.

The goal of the project is to raise awareness about the benefits and impacts of storm water runoff.  The use of rain barrels to collect rooftop runoff can save homeowner 1300 gallons of water per summer season.  Lawn and garden watering makes up nearly 40% of total household water use during this time period.

The barrels also help to protect the environment by diverting storm water runoff, which is the leading type of non-point source pollution in streams and rivers.  Plants also thrive when watered with rainwater, which, unlike tap water, is free of chlorine and minerals.

Want to own a rain barrel?  The barrels are on display throughout Sullivan County (a location map is available) for a firsthand look.  On May 18 and 19, photos of the barrels will be on display at Liberty High School, where bidding on a silent auction will begin.  On June 6 they can be seen at the Liberty Museum (Main Street, Liberty) during the Liberty High School Art Show opening from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m.  The barrel’s final destination is the Trout Parade in Livingston Manor on June 12, where they will be auctioned off following the parade.  The money raised will be donated to student scholarships.

Sponsors have the rain barrels on display at these locations:

  • Ethelbert B. Crawford Library and the Sullivan County Government Center in Monticello;
  • Morgan Outdoors, Livingston Manor Free Library and Peck’s Market in Livingston Manor;
  • David Sager Chiropractic and Peck’s Market in Jeffersonville;
  • Catskill Hudson Bank in Neversink and Tri-Valley Central School in Grahamsville;
  • The Bashakill Vineyard in Wurtsboro;
  • Fosterdale Motor Lodge in Fosterdale;
  • Dutch’s Tavern in Rock Hill;
  • Sullivan County Airport in White Lake;
  • Delaware Valley Arts Alliance and Peck’s Market in Narrowsburg;
  • Peck’s Market in Eldred;
  • Peck’s Market in Callicoon;
  • Roscoe Renaissance in Roscoe;
  • CVI Building in Ferndale;
  • Liberty Central School in Liberty.

For more information contact Kathy Lambert via email at or visit the Liberty Central School Web site at

PHOTOS AVAILABLE ELECTRONICALLY – Allison M. Ruef, Communications Specialist, Public Relations; 845-292-5400 ext. 2055;


  1. LCSD_Rainbarrel1.jpg: Liberty students Justin Frunzi and Anthony Saravia put the final touches on their beach-themed barrel.
  2. LCSD_rainbarrel2.jpg: Liberty students Emily Hartman and Nora Townsend show off their garden-themed rain barrel that would be a beautiful addition to any garden.
  3. LCSD_rainbarrel3.jpg: Liberty students Charles McNellis, Patrick Ramos and Pedro Garcia created a tranquil scene on their rain barrel.