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November 11, 2009 > Rain barrels installed at Sunol Glen School

Rain barrels installed at Sunol Glen School

Submitted By Emily Rotter
Photos By Kimberly Snyder

Sunol 4-H club members performed an environmentally friendly community helper project on October 24 by making a line of barrels that help save water. The purpose of these barrels is to capture rain water from the roof downspouts to water plants. Using 55-gallon recycled food barrels, PVC piping, hoses and other materials, Sunol 4-H members and staff from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's (SFPUC) Southeast Treatment Plant, constructed the rain barrel system at Sunol Glen School. The 4-H Gardening Group coordinated the event.

4-H members were assigned a barrel or two per family. A spout was attached from the inside and a lid place on each barrel. When they were done attaching everything, the barrels were lined up on brick stones. Then the volunteers attached a pipe that connected all the barrels, and at the end of the line it connected to a hose.

After all their hard work, the young volunteers had lunch and auctioned off pumpkins grown in the garden. Sarah said, "This is environmentally good and rain friendly." "This was fun and we are reusing water," Maddie explained.

Thank you to the 4H members who participated: Shelby, Sam, Maddie, Katrina, Travis, Genna, Zoey, Brian, Abby, Max, Erin, Sarah, Richard, Kimberly, and Emily. Also, a very big "thank you" goes to the parents who came, especially Danielle Newman, who coordinated this event and the Green Team.

4H is open to kids ages 5 - 19 and includes many service/community projects as well as raising and caring for animals. Some of the projects offered are: mini crafts, cooking, horse, green team, gardening, rabbit, fishing, poultry, swine, beef, dairy and sheep.

There are adult leaders for the projects, but the kids do all the work. If you are raising an animal, then the 4-H student is responsible to buy feed and keep track of what is spent on the project during the year for the green book. Adults are not allowed to touch the animals or help at the fair unless it is an emergency because it is the kid's project. The whole club competes at the Alameda County Fair showing their projects. Some show crops that were grown or arts and crafts projects. At the last fair, Sunol did very well in placing in all exhibits and livestock.

Older 4-H kids help the younger ones learn how to take care of their animals. Also, with 'shadowing,' any age can watch and help someone older raise their animal to see if they like it and want to do the project. You do not need to live on a farm to join 4H or raise an animal.

4-H is fun, educational and a great learning experience for kids ages five to nineteen. If you are interested in joining, community club meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the Sunol Glen School cafeteria in Sunol. Hope to see you there!

Emily Rotter is in the 7th grade.

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