Ruthie Timman, eighth grader at Loveland Middle School, and Lilly Rohling, sophomore at Loveland High School, have earned the honor of contributing their designed rain barrels for the 7th Annual Rain Barrel Art Benefit Auction, held as part of “Party for the Planet” at the Cincinnati Zoo.
“I entered the contest because I love art and wanted to see if mine was good enough to make it through, and it did,” said Ruthie, who liked the idea that it would also benefit the zoo and help save local water. “My design idea came from going to Anna Maria Island with my family, where we kayaked and saw manatees. They came right up to us and were super gentle. They are also unique animals and not as popular as the common zoo animals, like tigers, giraffes, and elephants.”
Forty local artists – about half of them students and the other half professional or hobby artists – have revamped typical green, dull and drab rain barrels into creative and colorful accent pieces for the garden. All barrels will be on display at the zoo throughout the month of April, leading up to the last day of the silent auction on April 25.
The Rain Barrel Art Project began as an initiative to promote the use of rain barrels, which help conserve water and save money. The project continues to educate citizens on environmental issues, including storm water runoff, watersheds and water conservation. Art teachers around town have taken it on as an annual project for their students, who are often passionate about the environment.
“Loveland High School’s Art Club has done this project in the past and I was encouraged to bring in a design,” said Lilly. “Environmental protection and preservation are very important to me and I liked the idea of combining art with environmental work. I love the Earth and always try to do my part in protecting it. Even something seemingly as small as one barrel can do so much good in the long run for our environment.”
Party for the Planet is held in celebration of Earth Day, which falls on Monday, April 22. Proceeds from the rain barrel auction will be used to further environmental education and awareness.
Photo caption: Lilly Rohling (on the left) and Rachel Noe, both members of the Loveland High School Art Club, worked together to paint Lilly’s winning design on a plan rain barrel.
Photo caption 2: Ruthie Timman (on the right) involved family, friends, her science teacher Catherine Rudisell, and classmates as she worked on her rain barrel project. Here she is with her friend A.J. Dahlquist.