Painted rain barrels to be rolled out in Mt. Airy

In partnership with the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) and the Mt. Airy Arts Garage (MAAG), the Mt. Airy Business Improvement District (BID) is bringing a colorful new water conversation effort to Germantown Avenue. BID will install a total of 20 creatively painted rain barrels along the commercial corridor between Cresheim Valley Drive and Washington Lane.

BID will hold an unveiling ceremony for the rain barrel project in front of the GeeChee Girl Rice Cafe, 6825 Germantown Avenue on Tuesday, June 26 at 2p.m.

The normally unattractive containers have been given an artistic make-over by local artists from the Mt. Airy Arts Garage. The initial project began with only 15 rain barrels but PWD donated five more after an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from MAAG members.

BID is the first business improvement district in Philadelphia to use rain barrels. The barrels will capture rainwater which will be used to water BID’s flower baskets, planters and tree wells. The collected water will also reduce surface run-off. Last year, property owners had generously donated water to BID in order to maintain its greenery projects on Germantown Avenue. PWD donated the barrels as part of its Stormwater Management Initiatives Program.

The project came about in a search for an easier, inexpansive and ecological way to obtain water for the 90 flower baskets BID has erected on lamp posts along Mt. Airy’s main drag. BID Executive Director, Hollie Malamud-Price and Libbie Hawes, the Preservation Director of Cliveden of the National Trust determined that rain barrels would provide the best solution.

The undertaking demonstrates BID’s continued commitment to working closely together with other neighborhood and city organizations. “It shows that in resource-challenged times that creative thinking and community involvement can have a tremendous impact,” stated Malamud-Price.

Malamud-Price expressed hopes that the neighborhood will enjoy its new art installation and continue to appreciate the ongoing efforts the BID makes for the Germantown Avenue commercial corridor.

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