071813 Rain Barrels Painted by Laconia Students on Display and for Raffle at the Lakeside Living Expo (278 w/ 3 col. Rain Barrels)

GILFORD — Visit the New Hampshire Lakes Association tent at the Lakeside Living Expo at Gunstock Mountain Resort in Gilford on Friday, July 19, through Sunday, July 21, and view brightly colored rain barrels painted by Laconia Middle School students with lake, river, and ocean conservation themes.
Visitors will not only have an opportunity to appreciate the artistic work of the students, they will have a chance to take barrels home as they will be raffled off during the three-day event. Visitors will also have the opportunity to purchase their own unpainted barrels.
This past spring, through the "Protecting Belknap County Waters Through Rain Barrels and Public Art" program, Laconia Middle School students learned about water conservation in their Life Sciences class and painted rain barrels with water scenes in their Integrated Arts class. The program was coordinated by the New Hampshire Lakes Association (NH LAKES) and funded by the NH State Council on the Arts.
A rain barrel is a container – typically a 55 gallon barrel retrofitted with plumbing fixtures – that collects and stores rainwater from downspouts and rooftops, to be re-used for activities like watering gardens, rinsing walkways and driveways, and washing cars. By collecting, storing, and reusing rainwater, rain barrels help conserve water supplies and reduce the amount of runoff water that flows across the landscape and picks up pollutants on its way into our lakes and rivers.
Order forms to purchase undecorated rain barrels will be available at the Lakeside Living Expo. Rain barrels can also be purchased online at www.nhlakes.wix.com/rainbarrelprogram or by calling NH LAKES at (603) 226-0299. For more information about the Lakeside Living Expo, visit www.lakesidelivingexpo.com.

Rain barrels painted by Laconia Middle School students. (Courtesy photo)