2014 Rain Barrel Contest – Children’s Division

During the month of April, 19 semi-finalists in the children’s category were busily creating masterpieces on their rain barrels to help get the word out about water conservation; thank you for casting your vote. (voting ran from May 19th to June 6th, 2014)

The five grand prize winners, marked with finalist ribbons below, will participate in DNREC’s annual awards ceremony on Governors Day, Thursday, July 24, at the Delaware State Fair in Harrington. The overall winner, as voted on by fairgoers, will be announced during the ceremony! Learn more about the artists [here].  Click on an picture to see a larger view.


Rehoboth Elementary School 5th Grade Super Scientists (Emily Monigle, Amy Membreno)
(Name of Piece: Protecting the Past, Present and Future)
(Placed at Rehoboth Elementary School Garden, Rehoboth Beach)

RehobothElementary_websmlOur rain barrel reflects the responsibility of our school community in protecting the unique ecosystem here in Rehoboth Beach.   The WWII towers on the beach represent our past.  The protected sand dunes represent our present.  Our school starfish logo represents our children, who are our future environmental leaders.  Our rain barrel will be located on school property, continuing to educate our students about rainwater runoff while supplying much needed water for our school garden.



Piper Drace, Dylan Drace, Nanticoke River Arts Council
(Name of Piece: Happy River, Happy People)
(Placed at City of Seaford Parks and Recreation Building, Seaford)

C_websmlThe Rain Barrel, “Happy River, Happy People”, depicts the multitude and wide variety of activities on the Nanticoke River.  Not only is commerce represented by the barge and fishing industry but personal watersports, relaxing activities, and simply enjoying a beautiful day on a beautiful river.  The indigenous wildlife is also depicted.  Loyalty to Country and State, and the appreciation and respect for our local waterway is paramount to the Rain Barrel.


Peach Blossom 4-H (Mary Beth Robbins, Maura Breeding, McKenna Breeding, Brielle Carter, Maci Carter, Bethany Knutsen, Matthew Post, Leighton Webb and Leslie Webb)
(Name of Piece: Nature’s Dew)
(Placed at:Lake Forest Central Elementary School, Felton)

PeachBlossom4H_websmlPeach Blossom 4-H Club’s rain barrel entry is painted to resemble a Mountain Dew can, which has a very recognizable logo and is a 4-Her’s favorite color, green.  Just as a can of Mountain Dew quenches your thirst, the rain collected within the rain barrel, or “nature’s dew”, can be used to provide a drink to thirsty plants in your landscaping or patio containers.  Nature’s Dew is refreshment for your soil!



Zakat Foundation Water Miners (Adeeba Allimulla,  Huda Kose, Furkan Kose, Yusuf Kose,  Nur Kose,  Merve Kekik, Mirac Kekik, Yusuf Patel, Hana Hubert, Yousuf Ahmed)
(Name of Piece: Every Drop Counts)
(Placed at Delaware Food Bank, Newark)

2FWaterMiners_websmlThe unique design on our rain barrel portrays a variety of uses of rain barrels on clothes hanging on a clothesline. The clothesline itself represents a use of rain barrels, as the water in the barrels can be used to do laundry.  The bird, butterflies, flowers, and scenic hills in the background all symbolize the harmony of nature when we do our part to keep the Earth safe.



Devin Brown, Millsboro Middle School
(Name of Piece: Barrel of Abstract)
(Placed at Millsboro Middle School, Millsboro)

DevanMillsboroMS_websmlWhat I drew was A three-dimensional square in the middle of the barrel. I wanted it to look like all of the lines began at the square, and from there I made boarders, and within those boarders I made colors, and different designs. When I began painting, I wanted the colors all throughout the barrel, to be different then the average rainbow colors. I needed it to be different. The colors help it stand out.



Noon Family (Victoria Noon, Edwin Noon, Sophie Noon)

(Placed at The Jefferson School, Georgetown)

A_websmlA rain barrel catches run-off water from roofs and gutters. The rain barrel stores the water for later use. You could use the water for your garden to replenish the plants.   I think the most important part of a rain barrel is that you are re-using rain water to help the environment.  We did a nature theme with flowers, frogs, bees, ladybugs, caterpillars, and a lot more.  First you have to do the background, then the details. The barrel is very big so you have to make the picture larger than normal. This project was a lot of fun! It was an exciting experience, and be prepared to get paint all over you. Some advice would be to not wear your favorite shirt while painting a rain barrel. Over all this was one of my favorite painting projects.  We had to go online to see how to make brown, we learned it’s a very hard color to make.

A rain barrel is a barrel that collects water and you can use it to water your garden. It helps us re-use water.  I drew two frogs, a caterpillar and a snake. These are amphibians and an insect. In the process of painting the rain barrel I learned you can paint all different types of designs.  This project was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. A rain barrel is a barrel that when it rains it collects water. The most important thing about a rain barrel is in countries without plumbing it gives them clean water.  Our rain barrel has snakes, flowers, bees, ladybugs, and frogs.  I learned that different brushes work better than others painting small or big areas.  I hope you like it, me and my siblings worked very hard to paint this rain barrel.

Sade Hall, Millsboro Middle School
(Placed at Millsboro Middle School, Millsboro)

sadeMillsboroMS_websmlWanted it to show nature and beauty.






Country Clovers 4-H Club
(Name of Piece: Save Every Drop)

CountryClovers_websmlOur youth started with a pencil drawing of vines and a forest. The group discussed the importance of Rain water and what effect it has on our environment. They decided to design the barrel of how the rain is needed for everything beautiful in our world. From the plants to the animals and agreed that it is important to “save every drop” for the beauty and preservation of our world.



Peach Blossoms Tween Co-Op
(Name of Piece: Peach Blossoms )
(Placed at St. Joseph’s Church, Middletown)

PeachBlossomsTween_websmlThe peach blossom is Delaware’s flower. It is also the name of our group of girls who home-school! There used to be millions of peach trees in Delaware. We painted a few on our barrel. Middletown , where our barrel will be located, used to be a big peach-shipping area, and still holds a peach festival each year. The drops on the blossoms and branches represent the spring rains that water the peach trees.



Clarence FRAIM Boys & Girls Club Garden Club Rain Barrel
(Name of Piece: Community Garden Barrel)
(Placed at Clarence FRAIM Boys & Girls Garden Club)

FRAIM_websmlWhen asked about what they wanted to paint on the rain barrel the suggestion was flowers in a garden because they attract the birds. The bottom layer of the barrel represents the grass  – second layer are the flowers and the top of the barrel was painted blue for the sky.




Mrs. Turner’s 2nd Grade Class, Mt. Pleasant Elementary School
(Placed at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School, Wilmington)
Mt_websmlOur painted rain barrel shows 3 views of our everyday environment and its inhabitants: below the ground, above the ground, and the sky, both in daytime and night. Each student chose a zone to paint and contributed  their original artwork and talent to the group project. The outcome is creative and beautiful.




Stanton Middle School Art Club (Johana Hernandez, Rosa Zaragoza)
(Placed at St. Mark’s Methodist Church in Wilmington)

StantonMiddleSchoolWebsitePhoto_websmlOnce chosen, the Art Club combined Johana’s and Rosa’s designs. Johana explains that as an artist she started with a simple line until her drawing had a significant meaning.  I drew birds and squirrels because spring is coming.   The feather was falling from the bird into the water.  The water represents the water container project.  In the pond were the fish which are all objects of nature.  Rosa’s design combines growing things with the sun and being GREEN.   She portrays the sun to be the hot generator to start things growing and being green with the heat of the sun and the water collected in the rain barrel. GROW GREEN show how to be environmentally conscious using the simple earth friendly use of water.  All these little things come out to have a giant significance to art.

Mispillion Elementary School (Kayla Clausen, Emily Boyer)
MispillionElementaryTheBridge_websml(Name of Piece: The Bridge)
(Placed at Milford School District)

‘At the place where land and water meet, where man and nature come together to create beauty beyond compare’–that’s what artist Kayla Clausen says she designed for her rain barrel. “The Bridge”, with its sailboats, flowers, trees and water shows just how full of life Delaware waterways are.


Mispillion Elementary School (Jenna Gibbons)
MispillionElementaryBytheBay_websml(Name of Piece: By the Bay)
(Placed at Milford School District)

Artist Jenna Gibbons loves Delaware Beaches and Bays and visits them quite often. She designed this barrel to remind us that all waterways circle around to our ocean, rivers and bays. We must keep them healthy so that animals that depend on them, such as gulls and horseshoe crabs, stay alive.



Mispillion Elementary School (Deena Johnson, Jacob Smith, Abigail Ashton, Charli Cortright, McKenzie Crew, Alexis Holston, Hali Sapp and Brooke Webb)
(Name of Piece: Bubbles)
(Placed at Milford School District)

MispillionElementaryBubbles_websmlDeena Johnson imagined bubbles representing the enjoyment of children in Delaware’s waterways. Inside each bubble, students from Mrs. Hickman’s homeroom, under the direction of art teacher, Dr. Gaglione, added images from the First State. Deena said the symbols included in each, representing technology, science and the arts all come full circle in encompassing Delaware is all about and what make it #1.



Seaford High School Spanish Class (Anglea Rust and Spanish 3 Class)
[Name of Piece: Nuestra Gran Naturaleza (Our Great Nature)]
(Placed at a residence in Greenwood, Delaware)

SeafordHighSchoolWebsitePicture_websmlWe have been working long and hard on this rain barrel. We have created it to go along with our Nuestra Gran Naturaleza theme. This translates over to Our Great Nature in English. So to go along with the Nuestra Gran Naturaleza written on the front of our barrel, we have included a flower, cactus, and a palm tree. These are great symbols of nature and the essence of “Nuestra Gran Naturaleza.”

Hemos trabajado mucho y duro en este barril de lluvia. Lo hemos creado para ir junto con nuestro tema «Nuestra Gran Naturaleza» Se traduce a nuestro gran naturaleza en inglés. Así que para ir junto con el de «Nuestra Gran Naturaleza» escrito en el frente de nuestro barril hemos incluido una flor, un cactus, y una palmera. Estos son los grandes símbolos de la naturaleza y la esencia de «Nuestra Gran Naturaleza»

Mispillion Elementary School (Geff Joseph, Eliza Kimmey, Savannah Nagy, Gannon Webb, Jason Shockley, Matthew Szczepanski)
(Name of Piece: Rivers, Hills and Ponds)
(Placed at Milford School District)

MispillionElementaryRiversHillsandPonds_websmlCombining several design ideas, students in Mrs. Mancuso’s homeroom created a barrel of all that Delaware waterways represent. From the hills of the watershed, to the local ponds, to the rivers that flows through the rocks, Delaware watershed areas are beautiful. Animals and plants are included to show the dependence on a healthy watershed and the beauty of Delaware wildlife.



Mispillion Elementary School (Ashyln Stam, Zachariah Stutzman)
(Name of Piece: Riverside)
(Placed in Greewood, Delaware)

MispillionElementaryRiverside_websmlArtist Ashlyn Stam of Dr. Ward & Mrs. Boyer’s homeroom, delighted in designing a river that showed the beauty of the water and nature with the function of cars and bridges. Ashlyn reminds us of the importance of taking care of our watershed in order to keep it beautiful. 




Western Sussex Boys and Girls Club
(Name of Piece: Great Futures)
(Placed at Western Sussex Boys and Girls Club, Seaford)

WesternSussex_websmlThe purpose of this barrel design is to represent that our children have the brightest future ever by helping them and enhancing their ability to become successful in their future. We strive and believe to have ongoing positive relationships with each and every one of our children that attend our club, and also making sure that they are working to their full potential to whatever it is that they want to accomplish. We do our best to help every child develop into the most caring, and responsible citizen that they can be.


DNREC and DelDOT sponsored the contest to educate the community on the benefits of using rain barrels to reduce rainwater runoff and improve water quality. The 19 participants were chosen based on their applications, design ideas and site placements. Individuals or groups chosen each received a fully-assembled, primed 55-gallon plastic barrel, topcoat and bubble wrap; they supplied their own paint, brushes and other materials or tools. They then had five weeks to finish their artistry and submit final photographs and information, as well as a short biography of themselves. As part of this program, each selected individual or group was required to find a public home for their finished rain barrel.