Delaware artists invited to apply for DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship’s rain barrel painting contest now through March 17

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship is now accepting applications from Delaware artists for participation in a rain barrel painting contest aimed at educating Delawareans on the benefits of using rain barrels to reduce rainwater runoff and improve water quality. Artists selected will be invited to paint creative designs on rain barrels that will be prominently displayed in public areas.

To enter the contest, adult artists must complete and submit an application by Friday, March 17, which includes providing a description and preliminary sketch of their design. Watershed Stewardship staff will choose participants in the contest based on their application and design ideas. Once contest participants have been selected, they will have five weeks to finish their barrel painting and submit final photographs and information requested.

Participating artists must be willing to give of their time and must provide materials, including paint and brushes or other application tools, an interpretation of their work and a short biography. In exchange, DNREC’s Watershed Assessment and Management Section will provide a fully-assembled 55-gallon plastic rain barrel with two coats of primer applied, plus cans of clear top coat. This year’s barrels have been donated by Tidewater Utilities, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Coca-Cola.

Photos of the finished rain barrels will be posted online for public voting at The barrels also will be displayed at the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village in Dover from May 31 through July 19. Five finalists will be chosen by online voting at All five finalists will receive prizes. A professional judging panel will choose the grand prize winner, whose barrel will be displayed at the DNREC Building at the 2017 Delaware State Fair. The winner will also participate in Governor’s Day, Thursday, July 27 at the fair. The winning barrel will then be displayed in a prominent location to be determined.

Applications can be found at Completed applications and sketches should be emailed to or sent by close of business March 17 to:
DNREC Watershed Assessment and Management Section
C/O Sara Wozniak
2430 Old County Road
Newark, DE 19702

For more information, please contact Sara Wozniak at or 302-382-0335.

What is a Rain Barrel?
A rain barrel is a container that collects and stores water from roofs and downspouts for uses such as watering lawns, gardens, and house plants; cleaning off gardening tools; and washing your car. Rain barrels help lower your water bills, particularly in the summer months by collecting thousands of gallons of water a year. Rain barrels are also important for our environment because they help reduce water pollution by decreasing the amount of stormwater runoff reaching our streams and rivers. An average rainfall of one inch within a 24-hour period can produce more than 700 gallons of water that run off a typical house. This stormwater runoff picks up anything on the ground such as litter, excess fertilizer, pet waste, and motor oil, transporting it to storm drains that dump the untreated water directly into our waterways.

Media contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

Vol. 47, No. 48