Rain Barrel Contest



Recycle Rain Water and Prevent Stormwater Pollution

Registration is now closed

Click above for 2018 Contest Flyer

Rain water is a resource that benefits ALL OF US. 

The Erie County Department of Environment & Planning (ECDEP) is proud to invite all schools or youth groups in Erie and Niagara counties to participate in a rain barrel painting contest with a theme focusing on stormwater pollution prevention or recycling rainwater.

What is a rain barrel?

A rain barrel collects and stores rain water from your roof that would otherwise flow across lawns, driveways, roads and parking lots – picking up dirt, oil, fertilizers, and other chemicals along the way before emptying into storm drains or streams.  The contest rain barrels are converted from 35-gallon syrup concentrate drums donated by the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Buffalo, Inc. 

Why use a rain barrel?

Contaminated stormwater runoff is the #1 cause of pollution in our waterways.  Rain barrels help reduce the volume of runoff, and therefore its potential to convey pollutants.  Register your students today and help them learn more about how to protect water quality in our rivers, streams and lakes.  


Contest Guidelines


Paint your rain barrel focusing on a theme of stormwater pollution prevention and/or recycling rainwater

  • Painted rain barrels will be judged according to how well the design fits the theme, creativity, and neatness.
  • You will need to submit photographs of the front and back of your finished rain barrel for judging.



You will be provided with a 35-gallon syrup barrel from the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Buffalo, Inc. that you will convert into a rain barrel, and one can of paint primer.

  • You will need to provide brushes, various colors of acrylic paints for your design, and a clear topcoat.
  • You will also be responsible for installing, maintaining, and winterizing the rain barrel.  Detailed instructions will be provided. 
  • Barrels must have a clear topcoat applied to be eligible for prizes. The topcoat will prevent the paint from chipping and fading.


Deadline:  PHOTO SUBMISSION DEADLINE IS March 31, 2018 (A photo release form is required if any students are in the photos)


Complete the Photo Release Form

For further information or if you would like to receive emails about the Rain Barrel Painting Contest, please contact Kristen Guadagno at Kristen.Guadagno@erie.gov.


Erie County Logo Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Buffalo, Inc. Logo GliddenLogo WNYSC Logo



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All participating schools will retain their final painted rain barrels to use, donate or raffle as desired.

We encourage teachers to incorporate environmental lessons in the classroom wherever possible on conserving resources, recycling rainwater, stormwater pollution prevention, and reusing materials for a sustainable planet.



The Erie County Department of Environment and Planning is proud to announce the winners of the 2017 Rain Barrel Painting Contest in honor of Earth Day!

Click here to see the 2017 submissions!


Prizes were awarded to the top barrels in the following categories: 

Elementary Grades K-4:

1st Place – Forest Elementary School (Teacher: Beth Aschbacher)

2nd Place – Wales Primary School (Teacher: Susan Lasky)

3rd Place – Elma Primary School (Teacher: Susan Lasky)

Honorable Mention (tie) – Ledgeview Elementary School (Teacher: Kathryn Greene)

Honorable Mention (tie) – Riverview Elementary School (Teacher: Carrie Oliver) 


Middle School Grades 5-8:

1st Place – Charter Middle School For Applied Technologies (Teacher: Valerie Fiore)

2nd Place – Heim Middle School (Teacher: Denise Woods)

3rd Place – Cheektowaga Central Middle School (Teacher: Tiffany VanDerBeck)

Honorable Mention – Stella Niagara Education Park (Teachers: Susan Sinski and Patrick Liuzzi)


High School Grades 9-12:

1st Place – Buffalo Academy Of Science Charter School (Teacher: Adam Rivers)

2nd Place – Depew High School (Teacher: Lori Bodgan) 

3rd Place – Springville Griffith Institute (Teacher: Christy Komenda)

Honorable Mention – Niagara Falls High School (Teacher: Michele O’Connor)




Last updated: November 20, 2017 2:23pm