Bexley City School District faculty and students have been collaborating with the Bexley Education Foundation (BDF) on a project that has produced rain barrels for sale in the community.

Bexley City School District faculty and students have been collaborating with the Bexley Education Foundation (BDF) on a project that has produced rain barrels for sale in the community.

Longtime BEF supporters John and JoAnn Rohyans established an endowment fund with the Bexley Education Foundation to support programs across the school district having to do with sustainable living. Last summer, a team of interested teachers met with John Rohyans and superintendent Mike Johnson to share ideas for a possible project. The group read and shared thoughts on the book "Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things" and chose rain barrels as the first district-wide project.

The Rohyans Fund provided the seed money for this project.

Bexley High School Environmental Club adviser Scott Logsdon and technology teacher David Valentine led a team of students from BHS, while Dr. Dan Jax and Elizabeth Jax brought in middle schoolers and Michael Vincent, Maryland's leader of Environmental Force! gathered a team from his school. Over the last two months, the groups got together on three evenings in the high school woodshop to build 22 rain barrels.

Jill Cavanaugh of G&J Pepsi Bottling Company donated the barrels while the Rohyans Sustainability Fund purchased the hardware. The barrels are now available for sale to residents of the community.

The collection of rainwater in barrels or other depositories for use during dry months is an ancient practice that has been revived by homeowners looking to save money and protect this natural resource. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, "a rain barrel is a system that collects and stores rainwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost to runoff and diverted to storm drains and streams."

A rain barrel is typically constructed of a large drum, hose and some kind of screen to keep out debris and insects.

The barrels constructed by the Bexley student group are for sale for $60.

"We hope to use the proceeds to fund other sustainability projects in the near future such as bike racks made of recycled materials, or solar arrays for small lighting projects," Logsdon said.

"I was really proud of the students and advisors for their work and dedication to this project," Valentine added.

As an extension of the project, the students are asking the purchasers of the barrels to record the amount of water collected each month and estimate the roof surface area for which the barrel is collecting water. Data will be complied and analyzed in middle and high school STEM classes next school year.

Student participants in the project are: Ali Turk, Amanda Young, Kate Morgan, Emily Winnegrad, Will Farrar, Molly Brewer, Nick Spaeth-Cook, Georgia Sutter, Ian Davis, Simon Luscher, Isabelle Burgdoff, Sarah Robbins, Katie Grunewald, Elin Hansen, Audrey Mapley, Brent Banks, Ethan Gammage, Celine Smith, Owen Rupp, Madison Simpson, Katelyn Kilgore, Adanna Davis, Ethan Gammage, Celine Smith, Owen Rupp, Madison Simpson, Katelyn Kilgore, Adanna Davis, Samantha Keim, and Michael Johnson.

Checks for the purchase of the rain barrels should be payable to the Bexley Education Foundation, 348 S. Cassingham Road, Bexley 43209. There are only 22 barrels and they are selling quickly.

For more information, call the BEF at 614-338-2093 or Amy Thompson, Bexley Schools Public Information Coordinator at 614-352-7461 or keycommunicator@bexleyschools.org.