Housing Opportunities and Church of 4 Seasons United Methodist Church became the latest two recipients of rain barrels through the Community Rain Barrel Demonstration Grant offered by Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction.
Housing Opportunities, Valparaiso, received two rain barrels for their Park Place apartment complex, 1117 N. Calumet Ave. The organization will use the water collected in the barrels to maintain plants and ground coverings.
“As a non-profit, we are not often able to add garden space into projects,” said Jordan Stanfill, Housing Opportunities chief operating officer. “This location allows community garden space for residents and community members to utilize, and the rain barrels will be a great help to maintain the gardens and conserve water.”
Church of 4 Seasons United Methodist Church, Crown Point, will install two rain barrels off of a storage shed and use the water to maintain their community gardens during the dry seasons. According to David Ritchie, chairman of the Missions Team, the church partners with local foodbanks to get their fresh vegetables from the gardens to the needy.
“Last year we distributed 1,000 lbs. of fresh produce,” Ritchie said. “This year we are on track to far surpass that quantity.”
Other organizations that received rain barrels through the grant included Porterco Conservation Trust, Town of Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission, and Moraine Ridge Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.
There is still time for schools and community organizations in Porter County to apply for rain barrels through the Community Rain Barrel Demonstration Grant. Approved applicants can receive up to two rain barrels that they can install in public spaces and become active stewards of local watershed water quality.
The grant is available through Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction, thanks to funding provided in part by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Lake Michigan Coastal Program.
Therese Haller, executive director of Porter County Recycling, said examples of organizations that can apply for the grant include homeowners and property owners associations, community gardens, schools and parks, and those applicants can use rain barrels in public green spaces, such as gazebos, parks and gardens.
“Applications will be judged on innovation, effectiveness, transferability, and sustainability,” Haller said. “We hope these organizations are able to model rain barrel use and help encourage homeowner use.”
Grant applications are available on www.PorterCountyRecycling.org. For more information, contact Therese Haller, 465-3815.
Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction is an agency dedicated to improving the environment and quality of life by providing services and educational programs which help residents reduce, reuse, and recycle.