Rehoboth Elementary School's fifth-grade Super Scientists team of Amy Membreno, Emily Monigle and Ella Rishko captured first place in the youth division of a statewide rain barrel painting contest as voted by visitors to the 2014 Delaware State Fair. The painted barrel, “Protecting the Past, Present and Future,” will have a permanent home in the RES rain garden.
The Super Scientists are students of RES teacher Jacquie Kisiel. Students in George Meili’s class, along with other third- to fifth-graders and the school's PTO, provided help and supplies for the project.
Gov. Jack Markell, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary David Small and Division of Watershed Stewardship Director Frank Piorko announced the first-place winner July 24 at the Delaware State Fair. Fairgoers had the opportunity to view the top five finalists’ painted barrels on display in the DNREC Building at the fair and to vote until July 22 for their favorite. The contest was sponsored by DNREC and the Delaware Department of Transportation.
The other four finalists were “Every Drop Counts,” by Adeeba Allimulla, Huda Kose, Furkan Kose, Yusuf Kose, Nur Kose, Merve Kekik, Mirac Kekik, Yusuf Patel, Hana Hubert and Yousuf Ahmed of the Zakat Foundation Water Miners, Newark; “Barrel of Abstract,” by Devin Brown, Millsboro Middle School; “Happy River, Happy People,” by Piper Drace and Dylan Drace, Nanticoke River Arts Council, Seaford; and “Nature’s Dew,” by Mary Beth Robbins, Maura Breeding, McKenna Breeding, Brielle Carter, Maci Carter, Bethany Knutsen, Matthew Post, Leighton Webb and Leslie Webb of the Peach Blossom 4-H Club.
Greenwood Artist and educator Susan S. Johnston of Dover, winner of the DNREC and DelDOT-sponsored adult rain barrel painting contest, also was recognized during the ceremony. Her winning entry, “It’s About Time,” as chosen by public voting last spring, shows the many demands on water.
Clocks are woven into the design to emphasize the immediate need to conserve and protect water. Johnston is an art educator and illustrator whose work has been shown nationally and internationally, and is included in numerous public and private collections. Her winning rain barrel will be placed at Woodburn, the Governor’s House, in Dover.
DNREC and DelDOT sponsored the two rain barrel painting contests to educate the community on the benefits of using rain barrels to reduce rainwater runoff and improve water quality. Nineteen youth participants and 11 adult participants were chosen for the contests based on their applications, design ideas and site placements.
For more information on Delaware watersheds go to www.delawarewatersheds.org.