Retain the rain and keep West Nile away

For some people rain is annoyance. To a gardener it’s manna from heaven.

Even though the growing season is over for many of us, I smile as I listen to rain falling on the roof. I’m glad it’s not snow – not quite ready for that yet – and I’m happy that our water tables are being built up after a hot, dry summer.

I wish I could capture that rain for my garden next year. My husband and I are always tempted to set up all our buckets when it rains so we can capture the water.

Turns out that’s a really bad thing. Mosquitoes can breed in standing water  like, well mosquitoes.

 All over the place.

Heard of West Nile? This summer the disease really hit home with cases in animals – and even one person — in Monroe County. We learned it really can happen here and we need to prevent it. Sigh, no more buckets of water to save for a non-rainy day.

But wouldn’t you like to catch the rain? I know I would. That’s where rain barrels come in.

Stroudsburg and East Stroudsburg residents can win a rain barrel.

They don’t cost that much, but they cost more than a shovel and some plants. Most gardeners, including me, like to spend garden dollars on plants that produce vegetables or bloom.

But having a rain barrel is like storing gold. You hook it up to your downspout and water fills your barrel instead of running away.

 If I lived in Stroudsburg or East Stroudsburg boroughs I would hook up with an artist and enter this really cool rain barrel challenge.  

The Monroe County Conservation District is sponsoring this challenge with several other organizations and they’re giving 20 free rain barrels. That’s an $80 value.

All you need to do is submit a design to be placed on the barrel and have someplace on the front of your property (business or residential) to display the barrel to get other people psyched about them. If you’re not artistic, the Pocono Arsts Council will hook you up with an artist.

It doesn’t get any better than this. It’s Christmas in November. And a gift that keeps on giving. My promise: If you win the barrel you won’t be sorry. And your neighbors will envy you next summer.

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