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Update: The Rain Barrel Program will continue in 2024. This year's pickup date is Saturday April 13th. Go to The Great American Rain Barrel site, select Rockport and choose your barrel! Pick it up on April 13th at the upper parking lot of the Transfer Station. https://www.greatamericanrainbarrel.com/community/
On Saturday, April 15th, 2023 more than 100 residents of Rockport picked up 150 rain barrels through a program sponsored by the Rockport Department of Public Works and the Rockport Garden Club. The rain barrel offering took advantage of a Community Program set up by The Great American Rain Barrel Company.
The Rockport Garden Club and the Rockport DPW have similar goals with regards to water conservation. Stormwater runoff is a major issue for coastal communities and the DPW takes stormwater pollution very seriously.
Conservation is also one of the Rockport Garden Club’s missions and limiting municipal water use in gardens with rain barrels is a great solution.
Many towns in Massachusetts use The Great America Barrel Company. Rain Barrels are ordered online and the company ships the barrels to a central location to be picked up. The Select Board gave a thumb’s up to the Program because it’s a win-win for all and cost the town almost nothing.
The barrels were delivered to the upper parking lot at the Transfer Station on 18 pallets. Volunteers from the Garden Club worked with DPW volunteers to organize the pickup site. On the pickup day, residents simply showed a receipt and loaded up their cars.
“The process was seamless and we got stellar support from TGARB,” remarked Lisa Simms, member of the Club's Environmental Awareness Committee. Sherri Casey, President of the Garden Club noted that the barrels were received with gratitude. “A lot of people thanked us for instituting the program. It’s such a worthwhile endeavor. We hope that this will be an annual event.”
The Rain Barrel Program is closed for this year, but saving and conserving water starts at home. Rain Barrels are readily available these days. Water bans are likely to continue in the future and a rain barrel may end up being an indispensable tool for gardeners.