ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Teaching water conservation through art is the goal of the Water Color Project. For 15 years, OUC has partnered with Orange County Public Schools to raise awareness about energy and water, while raising money for OCPS art programs.
“So we really love programs, especially for kids, where we can put the science brain and the conservation aspect, which is really thinking, with the passionate side of art, which is really feeling, and you put those things together and it’s much more memorable for people,” said Linda Ferrone, chief customer and marketing officer for OUC.
Middle and high school students painted 55-gallon rain barrels, which were then auctioned. All money raised goes back into the participating schools’ art programs. Twenty-four barrels were auctioned.
Ferrone said the science teachers educate students about the environmental aspects, while the art teachers assist with the design and creation of the rain barrels. But the lesson reaches far beyond the classroom.
“And the goal is for them to get really excited about the program and take that home to their own families, and to educate siblings, parents, aunts, and uncles and really anyone they can to make a small change in water conservation in their home, whether it’s planting Florida friendly plants or turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth...all those little habits make a difference,” Ferrone said.
The Water Color Project began in 2006, but the barrel auctions began in 2017. Since then, more than $4,000 has been raised for OCPS art programs.