There's a new exhibit bringing artwork to downtown Burlington. The question is, what exactly is it all about?
"I sit next to one every day and I don't know what they are," said Sonia Santvoord, who works at kiosk on Church Street.
A few tourists seemed to get what these creative barrels are all about.
"Seems like a rain barrel, like collects the rain, seems like all of them are decorated really different," said Carrie Kaufman, a tourist.
"Uh, is it for rain? It is for rain!" said Evan O'Keefe, a student in Burlington.
Connecting the Drops is an exhibit presented by the Let It Rain Stormwater Program. The exhibit has brought together Vermont artists to create works of art that help the community. The goal is to improve the water quality in our lakes and streams by reducing the amount of water that hits the ground.
"Each one of those locations along College Street and up Church Street, when they collect water, that stops that water right there. So, rather than hitting the streetscape and running down the streetscape as fast as it can go, we slow it down," explained Phealan Fretz, the executive director of the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center.
Slow it down by storing it until plants and gardens around downtown are ready for more water. And when they are, the spigot is turned, and the water flows downhill to the rain gardens located at ECHO.
"We've created a series of rain gardens that capture water from both off of our upper deck and roof and process it right here at ECHO before it goes underground toward the lake," Fretz said.
The water is filtered through the gardens and an absorbent concrete before making its way back to Lake Champlain. The idea of the exhibit isn't to only help ECHO's rain garden, but to also encourage residents to create rain gardens of their own. And it looks like it's working.
"We just built raised beds for our plants, so that would actually be a good thing for us to look into doing, collecting rain water," Santvoord said.
The Let It Rain Stormwater Program also allows residents who are interested in their own rain garden system to apply for money to build their own, right at home. It may not be as creative as the barrels you'll see around downtown, but it will help slow down stormwater runoff.
Wednesday, April 16 2014 5:57 PM EDT2014-04-16 21:57:36 GMT
Teamwork between a Montgomery farmer and a corporal with the Franklin Country sheriff's department may have saved a life when they pulled off a daring rescue. A woman became trapped in her truck tryingMore >>
It was a lifesaving rescue in the nick of time. A Franklin County sheriff's deputy put his life on the line to save a woman trapped in a truck with floodwaters raging around her. More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 5:58 PM EDT2014-04-16 21:58:34 GMT
After this week's whirlwind weather events and major flooding Tuesday, Governor Shumlin (D-Vermont), VTrans and state transportation officials held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the aftermath. ShumlinMore >>
After this week's whirlwind weather events and major flooding Tuesday, Governor Shumlin, VTrans and state transportation officials held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the aftermath.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:34 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:34:35 GMT
It looks like our region escaped any major flooding resulting from Tuesday's heavy rains. There were localized areas of high water and damage, like a road washout on Mud Hollow Road in Kirby. Water remainsMore >>
It looks like our region escaped any major flooding resulting from Tuesday's heavy rains.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:02 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:02:05 GMT
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York. The governor made the declaration Tuesday night. It covers six counties in northeastern of New York, including two inMore >>
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:08 AM EDT2014-04-16 15:08:35 GMT
If you thought the weather Tuesday really stunk, you weren't alone. Apparently all the rain and the rushing rivers were too much for even a beaver. WCAX Producer Diane Landry caught video Tuesday in MiltonMore >>
Apparently all the rain and the rushing rivers in our region Tuesday were too much for even a beaver.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:09 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:09:50 GMT
If you think this spring has been filled with strange weather-- cold, then hot, then flooding, then snow-- well, we have a reminder that fluctuating weather is not all that unusual in Vermont. SheldonMore >>
If you think this spring has been filled with strange weather-- cold, then hot, then flooding, then snow-- well, we have a reminder that fluctuating weather is not all that unusual in Vermont.More >>