By Carlotta Mohamed
City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing), along with the city Department of Environmental Protection and Queens Botanical Garden, will be will be giving away 250 rain barrels to Flushing residents who reserve one next month.
Residents interested in receiving a rain barrel must call Koo’s office at (718) 888-8747 to register. Upon receiving a barrel, residents will be mailed a confirmation letter to claim their barrel at the June 2 pickup event, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Queens Botanical Garden, located at 42-80 Crommelin St. There is a limit of one barrel per household.
“Rain barrels are a great way for homeowners to help reduce the burdens on our infrastructure by minimizing the water that flows into our storm drains, sewer systems and local waterways,” Koo said. “Homeowners who recycle rainwater will also realize savings on their water bills and ultimately help create a more environmentally friendly city.”
The Rain Barrel Giveaway began as a pilot program in 2008 with the distribution of 250 rain barrels to homeowners in Jamaica Bay, according to DEP. After a positive response from the public, the program was expanded in 2009. Last year 5,000 barrels were given away to New York City homeowners, schools, and community gardens in all five boroughs.
“Queens Botanical Garden is once again pleased to host a Rain Barrel Giveaway co-sponsored by the very community-minded Council member Peter Koo and NYC’s water agency — the DEP,” said Susan Lacerte, executive director of Queens Botanical Garden. “Water is essential to all life! It helps plants grow — and children, too. You can capture this gift from Mother Nature for use in your own yard, in your own garden — and maybe even to clean your car.”
Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmoha