City of Rockville Rain Barrel Workshops
The City of Rockville’s RainScapes Rewards Program aims to incentivize and empower City homeowners to implement on-lot practices such as rain barrels and conservation landscaping in order to reduce stormwater impacts on City waterways and encourage water conservation and re-use.
Biohabitats provided a variety of technical services during the spring and summer of 2009 to assist the City in its rain barrel outreach efforts. These services included developing public outreach materials, planning and installing four rain barrel demonstration projects at City community centers, conducting four public workshops for City residents, and developing educational signage.
Working with City staff, Biohabitats designed and delivered presentations on the benefits, selection, installation, and maintenance of rain barrels at the Rockville Senior Center, Lincoln Park Community Center, Twinbrook Community Recreation Center, and the Croydon Creek Nature Center, as well as the Activity Center at Bohrer Park in Gaithersburg. Audience sizes ranged as high as 50 participants per workshop, and audience evaluations indicated a high level of satisfaction with the content and quality of delivery. Outreach materials developed under this contract are currently available on the City’s RainScapes website.
The rain barrel installations were designed to serve as permanent demonstration projects in publicly-accessible locations. The designs placed a priority on safety, efficient operation, and aesthetic appeal. Biohabitats also designed interpretive signage that was subsequently installed at each site. The signs provide basic information about the benefits of rain barrels and serve as a permanent educational amenity. Responding to a request by City staff, Biohabitats also developed three interpretive signs that explain the purpose and benefits of City stormwater ponds.