Rain barrel contest pairs artists with water conservation


DOVER — Colorful rain barrels are now on display at the Delaware Agricultural Museum after winning the DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship’s Rain Barrel Painting Contest.

Preeminent among them is this year’s grand prize-winning entry in the adult division by Nathan Zimmerman.

DNREC sponsors the rain barrel painting contest and a youth competition annually to educate the community on the benefits of using rain barrels to reduce rainwater runoff and improve water quality.

“Early to Rise at Sundown,” the grand prize winner in this year’s DNREC Rain Barrel Painting Contest, was created by by artist Nathan Zimmerman of Milton. (DNREC photo)

“Early to Rise at Sundown,” the grand prize winner in this year’s DNREC Rain Barrel Painting Contest, was created by by artist Nathan Zimmerman of Milton. (DNREC photo)

Twenty participants were chosen to give their artistic touch to the contest based on their applications, design ideas and site placements for their barrels. Individuals or teams chosen to participate in the contest each received a fully assembled, primed 55-gallon plastic barrel, topcoat and bubble wrap; the artists supplied their own paint, brushes and other materials or tools.

They were given five weeks to finish and submit final photographs and information about their barrel, as well as a short biography of themselves.

Mr. Zimmerman’s “Early to Rise at Sundown” depicted a barred owl perched over water. It will be on display at the DNREC building during the Delaware State Fair and finally will be in use at Woodburn, the Governor’s Residence in Dover.

Mr. Zimmerman, of Milton, also provided narrative about his winning rain barrel: “Often heard caterwauling from the tree tops, the barred owl is a resident of treed swamps and mature forests and is the perfect embodiment of a watershed warrior. Whether while working at Trap Pond State Park or hunting along Bundicks Branch the barred owl has always put a smile on my face when the ‘noise’ starts. The background was inspired by the countless sunsets I’ve watched while hunting in the marshes along the Broadkill River.”

Other finalists included:

•Diane Buckingham, “Holding the Key.”

•Lynn Patrice Farina, “Butterflies and Flowers”

•Bruce McKinney, “Sweetwater”

•Donna Reed, “Playing in the Rain”

•Delmarva Christian School (Sophia Birl, Savannah Stewart, Chloe Wilson), “Reign of the Sea”

•Maclary Elementary Fourth Grade (Alec Ciesinski, Owen Reazor, Alex Ozor), “United States of Water”

•Maclary Elementary Fourth Grade (Jordan Short, Katrina Endres, Ella Baldwin, Olivia Kessler), “Nature Preservers”

•Rachel Santos, Phillip C. Showell Elementary, “Mrs. Minion”

•Kara Scarangella, Saint Thomas More Academy, Tiki — H2O Progenitor

For more information about the rain barrel painting contests, including photos of the entries, visit www.dnrec.delaware.gov/ or contact Sara Wozniak at sara.wozniak@state.de.us or 382-0335.

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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