By Matt Freiberg
Have you felt that winter has finally arrived?!? Is your home prepared? Last summer The Watershed Project partnered with the City of Oakland to deliver The Oakland Rain Barrel Program. This unique program uses federal stimulus money to offer City of Oakland residents rain barrels at up to 75% off of the regular retail cost.
Rain barrel installation is good for your garden and good for your watershed. Using rain barrels allows residents to capture rainwater for reuse and to protect local watersheds by slowing rainwater and decreasing flows to downstream creeks and waterways.
So far the program has been immensely popular, selling over 300 barrels between September and December, and the response from the participants has been great. “I love my new rain barrels! I got them to reduce my water footprint, protect creeks, and do my part to fight global warming… Every gallon helps, especially when we can keep water in the streams for fish and reduce the carbon emitted just to pump water to our homes. It just makes sense to use water that is delivered to us from the sky,” said Bob R., a new devotee to the rain barrel program.
If you are unsure about how to install these systems or simply want to learn more about rainwater harvesting, now is your chance! This Saturday, January 21st, the Oakland Rain Barrel Program, The Watershed Project, and DIG Cooperative will be hosting a FREE workshop at the Merritt College Self Reliant House. Attendees will learn how to tap the sky and turn their garden into an oasis. The workshop will delve into the how and why of rain barrels, rain gardens, and other strategies homeowners can employ to make their homes more watershed friendly. The event will include design and installation techniques, mock-ups, and hands-on exercises.
More information about the Oakland Rain Barrel Program including online purchasing information can found on the Oakland Rain Barrel Program website.