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Elementary Students Paint Rain Barrels in DC

Elementary School Grooms Future Environmental Heroes To Protect Its Local Stream

Students at Langdon Elementary School in northeast Washington, D.C. have been busy hand painting over forty rain barrels for their community. As a participant in the RiverSmart Schools Program, Langdon Elementary has been working with partners at DDOE (District Department of Environment) since 2012 to train teachers, install rain gardens, and engage students in their local watershed.

The painted rain barrels are part of a larger project in the Hickey Run community known as Sustainable DC: Hickey Run Heroes Campaign. Hickey Run is approximately 2.08 square miles, all within D.C. and the coastal plain hydrologic region. A substantial portion of the watershed is highly urbanized, with impervious surface that causes ecological damage to the stream, larger Chesapeake Bay watershed, and all those living within it. Most of the stream is piped underground, with the only free-flowing part existing in the National Arboretum, leaving many residents unaware of its existence.

Elementary student at Langdon Elementary School paints a rain barrel

The goal of the Hickey Run Heroes campaign is to support the community in reconnecting to its watershed by creating opportunities to take part in several stream related activities. Hickey Run residents who want to add a bit of artistic flair to their yards will have a chance to enter a drawing for one of the painted barrels while attending summer community events.

The campaign includes several other events for local residents, such as garden parties that demonstrate green yard makeovers, scout-led tours of the watershed, a competition for the greenest block, and increased incentives to Hickey Run homeowners participating in the RiverSmart Homes Program.

If you are a homeowner in the Hickey Run watershed or know someone who is, visit RiverSmart Homes Page or http://ddoe.dc.gov/riversmarthomes to get a painted rain barrel and learn more about Sustainable DC: Hickey Run Heroes. Please contact HickeyRun.Hero@dc.gov or call 202-535-1735 with further questions.

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Laura Todd RiverSmart Program Coordinator, Maryland & DC Office

Laura is the Program Coordinator for the RiverSmart Homes program, coordinated in partnership with the DC Department of Energy and the Environment. She works on the permeable paver program.

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