A preschooler gets a little help to add his handprint to the SNAP Rain Barrel.

In an effort to raise awareness of water as a natural resource and to connect the schools, business, arts and sustainability communities, 2010-2011 Fellow with IUSB’s Center for a Sustainable Future, Kathleen Petitjean, enlisted area artists and artist groups to paint twelve, 55-gallon plastic containers, donated by Coca Cola and converted for use as rain barrels.  All the barrels were underwritten by local businesses and organizations. The teachers and therapists from the South Bend Community School Corporation’s Special Needs and Abilities Preschool (SNAP) pooled resources to underwrite a “SNAP” barrel.  Over 70 special needs preschool students and their classroom buddies at Hamilton, Madison and Darden Primary Centers participated in painting the SNAP barrel!

All the barrels were coated with a clear automotive finish donated by Lochmandy Collision Center, Mishawaka and are currently on display at underwriting businesses.  The SNAP barrel will take turns being displayed at Darden, Madison and Hamilton Primary Centers.  Beginning April 25th, all the barrels will be displayed for two weeks in an indoor garden setting donated by Foegley Landscape at the South Bend Museum of Art.  On May 6th, starting at 7:00 p.m. the twelve barrels will be sold at a public auction with the proceeds to be split between IUSB Center for a Sustainable Future and the artists or artist groups. The SNAP program will be the recipient of the SNAP barrel proceeds.  Upon learning that the barrel he was painting would be sold, little Joe asked his teacher, Tracy Greulich, if she would use the money to buy grapes for he and his friends to share at snack-time!

Mark your calendars and plan to attend the Rain Barrel auction on May 6th at 7:00 p.m.; the auction event is free and open to the public.  Groups will be on hand to share information about Rain Barrels and water conservation.  At least two unpainted barrels will also be given away in a free drawing.

Evening wear and garden gloves recommended but not required!

To see all the Original Art Rain Barrels, please go to:


For more information about IUSB’s Center for a Sustainable Future go to:

To become an underwriter for this event, please contact:


For more information about rain barrels and water conservation, please go to:


This project is being underwritten by:

IUSB Center for a Sustainable Future

St Joseph County Soil and Water Conservation District

South Bend Museum of Art

Barnaby’s South Bend

Beehive Salon

Coca Cola Bottling Company of Indiana

Foegley Landscape

Goodrich Auction Company

Martin’s Supermarket

Lawson-Fisher Associates

Lochmandy Collision Center

Purple Porch Co-op

Red Hen Turf Farm

Teachers and Therapists of the South Bend Community School Corporation’s Special Needs and Abilities Preschool

Troyer Group

Gary Mester, Master Photographer

Acousticom Corporation

Cathy Romano