Rain barrel sales to benefit Dedham Square Circle
By Edward B. Colby/Daily News staff
Daily News Transcript
Posted Jul 24, 2009 @ 02:36 AM
DEDHAM — The Great American Rain Barrel Co. is teaming up with Dedham Square Circle - giving the nonprofit civic group a portion of the proceeds from its rain barrel sales.
The company's offer of support "was really wonderful, pleasant news, because these kind of opportunities aren't coming around very often" this year when fundraising has been a challenge, said Amy Haelsen, Dedham Square Circle executive director.
"We're incredibly appreciative, simply because the opportunities out there aren't what they were a few years ago," Haelsen said. "Our work is only made possible through donations from individuals, foundations and businesses."
The Great American Rain Barrel Co. is based in Hyde Park and owned by Suzanne and George Gebelein, who live in Precinct 1 in Dedham, close to Rte. 128.
Suzanne Gebelein said the number of barrels they sell to Dedham residents would be the catalyst for how much they contribute.
"The more we sell to (people from) Dedham, the more we'll give to Dedham Square Circle," she said.
The Great American Rain Barrel Co. sold discounted barrels last week at the Dedham farmers market - an initiative of Dedham Square Circle - and will return there Aug. 19, Gebelein said.
Through a rebate program with the Dedham-Westwood Water District, the company is selling its barrels to Dedham and Westwood residents for $50 - less than half the retail price of $119. The 60-gallon barrels come in three colors: green, brown and gray.
(For more information, see www.greatamericanrainbarrel.com/dedham.)
The barrels can easily be connected to gutter downspouts, so water that falls on a home's roof splashes out of the end of the gutter into the barrel. By using a barrel, people can cut down on their water costs, conserve the town's water resources - which can be strained during the summer months - and reduce runoff.
Gebelein said the collected water can be used for gardens, lawns, washing cars and other outdoors purposes.
Maintaining a 100-square-foot garden requires an average of about 68 gallons of water per week, so one full 60-gallon barrel just about does the job, Gebelein said.
She said the average roof is about 2,400 square feet, and that New England, on average, gets 16 inches of rain from May 1 through Sept. 30 - so theoretically more than 7,000 gallons of water could be gathered from a gutter system in that time.
"There is really something going on there that you can tap into," she said.
Referring to the recent heavy rainfall in the area, Gebelein added: "This year, there's not much of a need for water. But should things change next week, you've stored up water."
Gebelein said that as a Dedham resident she has "a vested interest in seeing the revitalization of Dedham Square," calling the vibrant downtown "an asset to the entire community."