StormWorks partners with the Hill House Assocation

Fifth grade student, kayla Kinney, showing off a rain barrel she helped paint. Photo: A. Vitalie

Fifth grade student, kayla Kinney, showing off a rain barrel she helped paint with her classmates this summer.           Photo: A.Vitalie

Beginning in May of 2013, StormWorks, Pittsburgh Green Innovators, and the Hill House Association partnered on a project to install 20 NMRWA 133-gallon rain barrels at the Hill House campus to raise awareness about stormwater management. These barrels will provide a valuable education tool for the community will allow them to control and utilize rainwater more efficiently.

The rain barrels are a part the Hill House’s Sustainable Landscape Plan, designed by Pittsburgh Green Innovators, who partnered with The Penn State Center Sustainable Landscaping Program. The goal is to capture 95% of the stormwater that falls on the 6-acre campus using green infrastructure such as rain barrels, rain gardens, pervious pavement, and bio-swales. The campus project builds on the Hill District’s 2009,“GreenPrint”, plan to re-connect the community with nature, as well as strengthen community relations with the greater Pittsburgh area.

Reene Kredell, a professor from Penn State University working with the Hill House Association on this project, emphasized the importance of design to the students of the Hill House summer program, “Xperience”. The participating students, in grades 5-9, painted the rain barrels, creating functional pieces of artwork to benefit the environment and the community.

Her objective was for the students to recognize the importanceof design in the every day world – everything starts out as a creative idea that is transformed into a functional innovation.

The students began the art project by creating a design concept board made of inspirational magazine pictures and also formed a color scheme. Next, Ms. Kredell, who has a background in dance, had each student dance in front of the group before choosing their paint colors. Kredell, who incorporated dance throughout the project, stated that dancing allows her to connect to the students while simultaneously building their self-confidence and creativity.

The finished rain barrels are all unique, with vivid colors,imaginative ideas, and themes such as geometric design,romance, and nature. StormWorks recently installed the finished rain barrels on the north side of One Hope Square adjacent to the Hill House.

Stop by and check them out!

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For more info about the Hill House Association, visit:

 For more info about Pittsburgh Green Innovators, visit:

If you are interested in a rain barrel, please contact Luke Stamper at 412-371-8779 ext. 120 or or visit the StormWorks website,

Finished Rain Barrels