IDOT invites students to design art for rain barrels

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[September 28, 2012]  SPRINGFIELD -- This week the Illinois Department of Transportation launched its 2012 Rain Barrel Design Competition to educate students on storm water management and to highlight the positive impact of green initiatives. The competition, now in its third year, offers the chance to win a rain barrel, based on creative artwork students submit through participating schools across the state.

"The popularity of the Rain Barrel Design Competition has soared, and with its continuation, has engaged students statewide to better understand how vital sustainability practices are for the environment, our communities and residents' overall quality of life," said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. "We are proud to offer the design competition again this year, and encourage all interested students to participate and display their artistic abilities."

During the current fall semester, IDOT is teaming with Illinois Correctional Industries to make the competition possible for the third consecutive year. Students ranging from third to 12th grades will have the opportunity to submit an artistic design that could be painted onto a rain barrel. Optimal designs depict impressions of nature, Earth Day or reflect IDOT's vision of sustainability. In November, 50 designs will be selected as winners, and those schools will each receive a rain barrel.

Each school is allowed one submission in each age group, and it must be made through the school's principal or art teacher. The age group divisions are third to fifth grade, sixth to eighth grade and ninth to 12th grade.

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This week, schools have received information and rules regarding the event. Designs must be submitted to IDOT by Oct. 29. Winners will be announced in early November.

For additional information, contact Steve Massey, sustainable practices manager of IDOT, at 815-434-8414 or

Rain barrels awarded to schools are donated by Illinois Correctional Industries, a division of the Illinois Department of Corrections, as part of a recycling program.

[Text from Illinois Department of Transportation file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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