District News

LM art teacher part of Cinci Zoo rain barrel project

Posted on: April 18, 2016

Lori Wahnbaeck, art teacher at Little Miami Intermediate School has been selected to paint rain barrels as part of the fourth annual Rain Barrel Art Project, an initiative designed to educate the community about water conservation and pollution caused by storm water runoff.

The Rain Barrel Art Project is a joint effort of SaveLocalWaters.org and the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. As part of this initiative, community members throughout the Ohio River Valley submitted artistic designs to beautify otherwise dull rain barrels. Fifty of those designs were selected, and the submitting artists have painted them on rain barrels that will be displayed at the Cincinnati Zoo’s Go Green Garden through April and auctioned off during the Rain Barrel Art Benefit Auction on April 21, 2016.

“Rain barrels are a great tool for conserving water and saving money, but some people are reluctant to use them because of their usually plain, unappealing appearance,” said John Nelson, a representative of SaveLocalWaters.org and a public relations specialist. “We believe that turning rain barrels into beautiful works of art will make them more desirable, so we’re pleased to collaborate on this event to raise awareness and encourage the use of rain barrels throughout the region.”

The rain barrel Wahnbaeck designed has waves set upon an ombre field of blue. The four levels of waves are decorated with different green Zentangle patterns. She said joining the Rain Barrel Art Project was an easy decision.

"Another teacher in the building brought it to my attention and suggested I submit a design. I remembered seeing the beautiful barrels last year on social media and thinking then, that I would love to participate," she said. "It's great to use my skills to help out organizations that need to raise funds for worthy causes. What could be better than clean water for our community?"

The painted rain barrels will be auctioned off on April 21, 2016, during the zoo’s Party for the Planet event, with proceeds benefitting conservation education in the Ohio River Valley. “The zoo is thrilled to be hosting the rain barrel event once again. As the ‘Greenest Zoo in America,’ we are always looking for ways to inspire our community to take action that can impact the environment in positive ways,” said Sophia Cifuentes, the zoo’s sustainability coordinator.