Ticonderoga Ten free rain barrels were given away at a workshop at the gazebo in Ticonderoga’s Bicentennial Park recently. The workshop was sponsored by the Essex County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Lake George Association and the Lake Champlain Lake George Regional Planning Board.
“The event was a great success,” said Beth Gilles with the LCLGRPB. “Everyone had a great time, and was really excited to get their rain barrels home and working.”
Emily DeBolt of the LGA started off the event with a brief overview of the LGA’s new “Homeowners Guide to Lake-friendly Living,” which contains simple strategies for protecting Lake George — including everything from septic system maintenance to shoreline buffers.
“Rain barrels are just one of the many ways you can help protect Lake George,” said DeBolt. “Once you get started with your rain barrel, maybe you will want to think about a rain garden or shoreline buffer next.”
Tiffany Pinhiero from ECSWCD explained what rain barrels are, how they help conserve water and protect the water quality of local waterways, and how to properly install one.
Rain barrels are connected to a home or building’s downspout. The barrel collects the water running off a roof and stores it, instead of letting it enter storm drains or run over the ground. The water in the rain barrel can then be used for gardens and lawns, decreasing the need for tap or well water.
Pinhiero also reviewed cleaning and maintenance. Participants prepared their rain barrels for use, installing the spouts and determining where the overflow would go.
“Everyone’s house is different,” said Pinheiro. “To get the water in the barrel, you can use a down spout, rain chain or just place the barrel where you have a lot of runoff coming off your roof. Rain barrels are practical, easy to use, and can work in most situations.”
In addition to the mechanics of how to use a rain barrel, participants learned how to paint them, to make them more aesthetically pleasing.
The workshop was funded partially by the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative.