Zionsville Nature Center offers rain barrel workshop

Zionsville stormwater project manager Gavin Merriman works on a rain barrel at the 2015 workshop. (Submitted photo)

Zionsville stormwater project manager Gavin Merriman works on a rain barrel at the 2015 workshop. (Submitted photo)

By Kelsey Ligon

The Zionsville Nature Center is offering a rain barrel workshop as part of its educational series about conservation.

The workshop offers people the opportunity to learn about, build and decorate their own rain barrels.  The event takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. May 18 at Zionsville Town Hall, 1100 W. Oak St., and is open to the public.

Rain barrels have become popular across the country because they are a simple and efficient method of conserving water. They capture excess water when it rains, and this excess water can be used for gardens, lawns and even cars.  Considered “soft water,” rainwater collected in the rain barrels is free of chemicals.

Mindy Murdock, the town’s park naturalist, and Gavin Merriman, the town’s stormwater project manager, will talk about the benefits of rain barrels and help attendees put together their rain barrel kits.

Having talked with many Zionsville community members, Murdock said he believes there are a lot of people excited to implement rain barrels in their gardens and just need the tools to do so.

“Offering a workshop that provides education, assistance in obtaining materials and knowledge on how to use the materials is where we step in,” Murdock said.

The kits include barrels, diverters, fixtures and wooden stands, all of which are recycled products provided by Upcycle Products, the largest manufacturer of upcycled rain barrels in the U.S.   The barrels themselves were once used for food and have been rinsed with collected rainwater.

Discounted kits are available for $45 and are limited to two per household.  Additional kits can be purchased at the retail price of $89.

Interested parties should register for the workshop by May 11 and can find more information by contacting Murdock at naturecenter@zionsville-in.gov.


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