The Livingston Youth and Community Services (LYCS) program, Livingston Clean Communities Program, and the Livingston Green Team have joined forces in continued efforts to promote water conservation within the community. Livingston residents will have an opportunity to paint and build their own rain barrel in a series of workshops that are open to family participation. Participants will have the opportunity to paint a design of their choice onto a pre-primed barrel on Sunday, Sept 9 (12:00 noon – 2:00 pm) and/or Thursday, Sept 13 (5:30 pm – 7:00 pm). Paint and supplies will be provided. 

On Sunday, September 23, a member of the Livingston Green Team will give a powerpoint presentation on the benefits of rain barrels for watering lawns and gardens, mitigating stormwater runoff, and how to build a rain barrel for residential use. Participants will be shown step-by-step how to build their own rain barrel and learn how to install it at home. Two workshops are offered: Workshop 1 (11:00 am – 12:30 pm), and Workshop 2 (12:30 pm – 2:00 pm). Food and refreshments will be provided at all the workshops which will take place at Monmouth Court Community Center (26 Monmouth Ct).

“The rain barrel workshops are part of a LYCS sponsored environmental initiative which is focused on water conservation,” explained Susan Ridley, Township of Livingston Program Supervisor for Community Services and LYCS. “This project not only helps to conserve water, but is also a recycling project. Each of these rain barrels are made from high density polyethylene (HDPE) food grade plastics which have been previously used to store foods such as olives, cranberries, pickles etc… and are now used to benefit the environment by conserving water as well as beautifying the garden.”

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“LYCS has a goal of creating 100 rain barrels as part of its Presidential Environmental Youth Awards application to increase youth and community involvement in environmental initiatives by harvesting rainwater,” added Ridley. “So far 30 rain barrels have been completed. There is a nominal cost of $50 for each rain barrel to cover supplies, which is waived for LYCS students registered in any of our after-school programs for the 2012 – 2013 school year.”

LYCS is a community-based, after-school educational program that provides leadership, healthy life choices, and life skills to students Grades 1 – 12. LYCS Elementary programs meets at the school (2:40-3:40 pm) once a month and includes Young Leaders (Gr 1 and 2) and the Leaders Program (Gr 3 – 5). Snacks are provided. Evening programs meet at Monmouth Court Community Center (5:30 pm – 7:00 pm) and include Grade 5 Leaders Club, Peer Leaders (Gr 6 – 8), and Peer to Peer (Gr 9 – 12). Pizza and refreshments are provided and recreation is in the Game Room at the Monmouth Court.

LYCS also provides community service opportunities for students to practice their leadership skills as positive role models for the community, co-sponsors alternative activities for youth to engage in positive social interactions, provides expressive arts programs for creative self-expression as well as coordinates community programming (e.g., collecting Toys4Tots, Hugs from Home for soldiers serving abroad, supplies for Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter, etc...) to strengthen community roots and to foster a desire to help those in need. For more information about LYCS programs and class schedules go to www.livingstonlycs.org, Email: lycs@livingstonnj.org, or call 973-535-2646. LYCS is a program of the Township of Livingston: Senior, Youth and Leisure Services, and is funded in part by the Livingston Municipal Alliance Committee (LMAC).

“This project is very timely,” said Renee Resky, a member of the Livingston Green Team. “With the unusually hot summer, it is important to encourage residents to use water wisely and efficiently, and what better way to do that than to capture water from a downspout into a rain barrel to use later for watering gardens and plants. And it saves money on the water bill! Three beautiful rain barrels, painted by Susan Ridley, will be auctioned at National Night Out on August 7 on Livingston Oval. Bring your check book because the winning bid will take the rain barrel home at the end of the evening."

“The registration deadline for participating in the paint and build your own rain barrel workshops is Friday, August 24. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis as there is limited seating.” For more information on the rain barrel workshops contact Livingston Green Team Members: Missi Kimmel (973) 535-7961 ext 227, Email: mkimmel@livingstonnj.org, or Renee Resky (973) 992-5000 ext 5405, Email: rresky@livingstonnj.org. For information on the Livingston Green Team, please visit www.livingstonnj.org/greenteam.html.