Rain barrel workshop collects interest

Published 10:04 pm Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The “Make and Take Rain Barrel Workshop set for Monday is generating a surprising amount of interest.

Keith Roling, president of the sponsoring Pike County Chapter of the Alabama TREASURE Forest Association, said he had doubts about the workshop at first but it could be one of the chapter’s most attended workshops.

“Women are telling me that their husbands will be there for sure,” Roling said, laughing. “They all want rain barrels and they are ‘encouraging’ their husbands to make them one.”

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The Rain Barrel Workshop will be from 1 until 3 p.m. Monday in the fellowship hall of First Baptist Church of Troy. And, women can make the barrels as easily men.

There is a supply cost of $25 for the workshop but the retail value of a rain barrel is between $80 and $100.

Participants may register at the time of the workshop.

Roling said rain barrels have gained popularity in recent years as the cost of utilities for water increases and more people are planting backyard vegetable gardens and landscaping their properties with flowers and shrubs.

“Plants love rainwater because there are no added chemicals and it does have vital nutrients,” Roling said. “Rainwater is usually soft and free of dissolved minerals and I’ve heard that it’s good for human hair. You can use rainwater to irrigate your lawns and to wash your car or your dog. And in comes in handy if there are water restrictions during dry times.”

Rainwater is easy to “catch” and it’s easily accessible.

“Rainwater harvested from the roof would otherwise be lost to runoff,” Roling said. “Runoff can cause erosion and carry fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals.”

The biggest advantage of rainwater is that is free and can, therefore, reduce utility costs for water.

“Using rainwater has many benefits and all we have to do to share in those benefits is collect it,” Roling said. “The workshop will give participants a way to do just that.”

Roling laughingly said, that, at no extra charge, participants will also learn a rain barrel dance that can be done in the event of a dry season.

Roling expressed appreciation to the workshop sponsors, Alabama Clean Water Partnership, world Wildfire Fund, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Montgomery, Alabama-Tombigbee, Cho-Pea-Yellow Rivers Conecuh-Sepulga and Blackwater Rivers Clean Water Partnerships and the Wiregrass RC&D Council.