SWCD's Rain Beat on Main Street returns

·2 min read
Local artist Donna Sutherland's rain barrel is seen along with some of the other rain barrels painted by local artists and sponsored by local businesses for the Ashland Soil and Water Conservacy District's Rain Beat on Main Street are seen here on display in Ashland's Corner Park on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021. TOM E. PUSKAR/TIMES-GAZETTE.COM
Local artist Donna Sutherland's rain barrel is seen along with some of the other rain barrels painted by local artists and sponsored by local businesses for the Ashland Soil and Water Conservacy District's Rain Beat on Main Street are seen here on display in Ashland's Corner Park on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021. TOM E. PUSKAR/TIMES-GAZETTE.COM

Once again, unique, hand-painted, one-of-a-kind rain barrels have made their appearances in both Loudonville and Ashland with a new stop at last weekend's BalloonFest in Ashland.

And best of all, not only will these beautiful rain barrels help increase awareness of the importance of stormwater, but they will also be available for local residents and businesses to bid on and take home with them.

“I am just really excited with all of the community involvement, let alone the artists,” said Katie Eikleberry, fiscal and education specialist with Ashland Soil and Water Conservation District. “Our artists have so much talent, it is definitely impressive!”

Rain Beat on Main Street is being coordinated by Ashland SWCD, but is a real community-wide effort to increase awareness of stormwater issues and raise funds of water quality education. 2020’s inaugural event featured 10 rain barrels, which grew to 15 in 2021 and a record 21 rain barrels this year. The rain barrels are sponsored by Ashland County businesses, and 21 volunteer artists have worked to transform the rain barrels from merely functional to absolutely fabulous.

The rain barrels were displayed in Loudonville’s Central Park over the last week, and have been moved to the Ashland Balloonfest at Freer Field for the weekend. The event will wrap up with the barrels on display at Ashland's Corner park through the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

While the rain barrels are on display, residents will be asked to help pick their favorite rain barrel by voting for the People’s Choice Awards. And, of course, an online auction will be taking place allowing community members to purchase their favorite rain barrel to install at their home. All proceeds from the auction are used to fund Ashland SWCD education programs on stormwater management. Be sure to check out voting and bidding details at Ashland SWCD's Facebook page for more information.

This article originally appeared on Ashland Times Gazette: Rain Beat on Main Street back