It's hard to believe that it has already been eight years since we first began our journey to protect and preserve the natural world. Over the past eight years, we have accomplished so much and have made a significant impact on the environment, thanks in large part to the support of our donors and volunteers. One of the standout achievements of our organization has been the success of our rain barrel program. With the help of our supporters, students have painted and installed nearly 1,000 rain barrels in their communities. These rain barrels serve as a practical and effective way to conserve water and reduce erosion and have had a positive impact on the environment. We are so proud of the work that our students have done and the impact that their efforts have had. As we look back on the last 8 years, we are incredibly thankful for all of the support we have received! From our donors and sponsors, to our volunteers, and community partners, we are grateful for everyone who has helped us to make a positive impact on the environment. Here's to many more years of protecting and preserving our world's water resources for future generations!
Barrels by the Bay's first program launched in Annapolis, Maryland on March 22, 2015, United Nations World Water Day. The first classrooms painted rain barrels corresponding with each of the World Water Day themes. This year's theme is #water2me. Over the past six years, the Barrels by the Bay team has been able to engage with participants in communities across the United States. Their local waterways are vital to their daily life. This year, as the world continues to face growing pollution challenges to our waterways, we encourage you to ask yourself what your community waterway means to you?
Since Barrels by the Bay’s founding in 2015, we have reached over 20,000 participants in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, Florida and Washington, D.C. Nearly 1,000 rain barrels have been painted and installed in communities, reducing millions of gallons of stormwater runoff annually. In 2020, we are excited to expand our partnerships around the country as we celebrate our fifth anniversary. Barrels by the Bay is committed to educating individuals and improving our world’s water resources through rain barrels. Barrels by the Bay increases community awareness and encourages a unified community solution to polluted runoff problems and excess water in roadways. We are starting these conversations in classrooms around the country through environmental education.
Four years ago, Barrels by the Bay was founded with the mission to educate individuals about our world’s water resources. World Water Day, March 22, is a day established by the United Nations General Assembly to highlight annually the importance of water. Since our founding in 2015, we have reached over 20,000 participants in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, Florida and Washington, D.C. Over 800 rain barrels have been painted and installed in communities, reducing millions of gallons of stormwater runoff annually. In 2019, we are excited to expand our partnerships around the country as we celebrate our fifth program year. Barrels by the Bay is committed to educating individuals and improving our world’s water resources. We look forward to expanding our mission and engaging participants around the country. Thank you for your support of our programs.
World Water Day, every year on March 22, is about focusing attention on the importance of water. This year's theme, 'Nature for Water’, explores nature-based solutions (NBS) to water challenges we face in the 21st century, like rain barrels! This March 22, we will also be celebrating Barrels by the Bay's third anniversary since our founding in 2015. Since our founding, we have reached nearly 15,000 participants in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, Florida and Washington, D.C. Over 700 rain barrels have been painted and installed for communities, reducing millions of gallons of stormwater runoff annually. This past year, as our existing programs continued to grow, we expanded into New York City, where 1,500 participants painted and installed rain barrels in Queens, Brooklyn, and neighboring boroughs. Most recently, in 2018, we expanded throughout Florida partnering with Walt Disney World where guests from around the globe painted rain barrels for Orlando, Florida at the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival. Simultaneously, students in Tampa, Florida painted dozens of rain barrels for their communities. We are continuing to expand and inspiring students to make a difference in their communities’ environments. Happy World Water Day!
It has been two years since Barrels by the Bay launched in Annapolis, Maryland. Since that time, we have engaged thousands of students and community members in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, District of Columbia, and now Florida. The Orlando Project is exciting for our team as we head to the southern portion of the United States partnering with the City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer's Green Works Initiative, Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, and Walt Disney World. Our mission as an organization is to reach as many communities while educating and inspiring these individuals to address flooding and stormwater runoff concerns in their neighborhoods. Because of our supporters and partners, we are reaching more communities and expanding our programs. Thank you for your dedication to our mission!
As our inaugural year comes to a close, I am reminded of the incredible success of the Barrels by the Bay programs. From March 2015-2016, Barrels by the Bay engaged 3,675 participants in one hundred fifty-five classrooms. Two hundred eighty rain barrels were installed in the local community to collect millions of gallons of water each year. Thank you Liz, Tim, Nicole, Elisa, and our tireless volunteers. Thank you to our sponsors for their continued support. Barrels by the Bay was built upon the idea that environmental education could be provided to any and every school. It is because of our generous donors that we are able to continue to expand and provide our program to participating schools. Looking forward to another great year!
In 2004, my family and I were sitting at the dinner table discussing the never-ending rain from Hurricane Ivan. I took 10 steps "just to check" the basement with my dad and the water began soaking into my shoes a little more with each step. In a matter of hours, my community was flooded because of the immense amount of rain filling the streets.
Years later, I first learned about rain barrels while painting one at a local environmental fair. I remember my excitement when I cut the downspout and installed my own rain barrel at my home in Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania. I even made it my first science project and spent hours in the backyard after school. In 2011, I was honored by President Obama to accept the President's Environmental Youth Award at the White House Summit on environmental education for the hydroelectric rain barrel science project that I built in my backyard.
When I started at the Naval Academy I experienced similar weather to my hometown—the fall and spring were full of rainy days. But, what I wasn't prepared for was flooded sidewalks and streets, sitting water that that had a film of contaminants suspended on top, and people unaware of how a rain barrel could change all of this. This past October, I was trudging through sidewalks in Annapolis and started thinking that maybe there was something I could do.