Capture those April showers, use water for May flowers

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Rain barrels are available for preorder at half price, marking the third sale since September put on by the city.

The deadline to purchase the Ivy Rain Barrel is April 26, and pickup is May 4 at the Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods. The cost is $58, marked down from its original price of $119, according to the City of Fort Worth’s website.

“The rain barrel is useful for watering your plants or keeping up your garden,” said Becki Begley, public education program coordinator for transportation and public works environmental management division.

This is the city’s third sale since last September, and Begley said they have already sold more than 500 during the first two.

Begley said water conservation and protection of water quality were two of the main environmental positives of rain barrels. By capturing rain to use later for gardening, residents can avoid using sprinklers or other excess water during times of little rain. Also, less runoff drains into local rivers and streams, which eliminates chemicals or debris that can be picked up along the way.

“We have to do something to protect our environment,” said Carol Savage, resident of Westcliff and owner of two rain barrels. “I am very proud to have them.”

The barrels also save people money by reducing the amount of water needed to maintain plants or shrubs, Begley said.

“If you have a garden, you really need them,” Savage said.

The barrels are 50 percent recycled plastic and are protected by a mosquito-proof screening to prevent possible West Nile outbreaks, Begley said. They are painted green to blend in with any garden setting.

Begley said promotion for the sale has been mainly by fliers and word-of-mouth, but they have also brought a model barrel around to different city events, including last Saturday’s Neighborhood University.

TCU freshman Ali Blackwell said she heard about the program through her environmental issues class.

“We were studying water conservation, and our professor showed us the link to the sale as an example,” Blackwell said. “I was happy to hear that something to help the environment is actually being implemented.”

To learn more about rain barrels and even how to install them, check out this video courtesy of Rain Water Solutions.

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