Published DateLACONIA — On Thursday, June 13, brightly colored rain barrels painted by Laconia Middle School students with lake, river, and other water scenes, were put on display at storefronts in downtown Laconia. The barrels will remain on display for several weeks. The public is invited to downtown Laconia to appreciate the artistic work of the students and to pick up information about how to purchase and decorate their own rain barrels.
Barrels will be on display at the following downtown businesses: All My Life Jewelers, Burrito Me, Edwards Jones, Greenlaw's Music and Audio, Labelle's Shoe Repair, Laconia Antiques Center, Polished & Proper, Second Feature Antiques, Tavern 27, The Galleria Salon and Day Spa, The Soda Shoppee, Vintage Emporium, Vintage Cafe, Sun Day's Salon and Day Spa, and The Village Bakery.
Through the "Protecting Belknap County Waters Through Rain Barrels and Public Art" program, this spring Middle School students learned about water conservation and protection practices in their Life Sciences class and about color relationships and painting techniques in their Integrated Arts class. In teams of two, students had the opportunity to combine their knowledge and skills gained in the two classes to design water conservation themes which they then painted onto 55-gallon rain barrels. The barrels, which previously contained beverage flavoring, were donated by Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England and were retrofitted with plumbing fixtures by Belknap Landscape Company, Inc.
The program was coordinated by the New Hampshire Lakes Association (NH LAKES) and funded by the NH State Council on the Arts.
"Linking science content with the techniques and applications of visual expressions has provided dynamic lessons for our students" commented Alexis Eynon, Laconia Middle School Integrated Arts educator.
N.H. Lakes Program Coordinator Robie Parsons added, "Not only did the students work on a really unique art project, their efforts will help others protect our water resources."
A rain barrel is a container that collects and stores rainwater from downspouts and rooftops for domestic uses, including watering gardens and washing cars. Typically, a rain barrel is made using a 55-gallon drum, a vinyl garden hose, PVC couplings, a screen grate to remove debris and keep insects out, and other materials that can be found at neighborhood hardware stores. Rain barrels can be constructed in a number of ways, but they all serve the same purpose—to collect and store rainwater which helps conserve water supplies and decreases the amount of rainwater that flows across the landscape, picking up pollutants before flowing into lakes and rivers.
Order forms to purchase rain barrels are available at the display barrels in downtown Laconia. Rain barrels can also be purchased at N.H. Lakes' booth at the Laconia Main Street Outdoor Market Place on four Thursdays this summer (June 13, June 27, July 18, and July 25), online at www.nhlakes.wix.com/rainbarrelprogram, or by calling N.H. Lakes at (603) 226-0299.