Project development in real time maps:

619 map 620 map 621 map
July 19th July 20th July 21st

Check out the Event Projects:

CFLCFL light bulbs: 126 homes

Backyard Vegetable GardenBackyard Vegetable Gardens: 42 homes

Rain BarrelRain Barrels: 24 homes

Community GardenCommunity Gardens: 3 gardens

Lot ClearingLot Clearing: 58 lots

Storm Drain CleaningStorm Drain Cleaning & Marking: 80 blocks

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Rain BarrelRain Barrels

ELCA youth built and installed 8 rain barrels each day, for a total of 24 rain barrels over the 3 day event.

Why install a rain barrel?

New Orleans averages over 60 inches of rain a year, and street flooding occurs regularly with heavy rain. Impervious surfaces, like concrete and roofing material, cannot absorb water, so during large rain events water that is not absorbed by saturated ground runs off into storm drains. The pumping system is easily overwhelmed during these events and storm drains back up, creating street flooding that damages property and hinders traffic. With the help of city pumps, water that floods the streets of New Orleans eventually drains into rivers, canals, and other waterways which ultimately let out in the Gulf. Storm runoff collects pollutants and toxins from the air and ground that contaminate groundwater, rivers, and oceans and leads to subsidence. Find out more here.

Rain barrels collect rainwater that comes off of a roof directly from gutter downspouts. Stored water can be let out several hours or days later when the ground is less saturated and water can be absorbed, or it can be used around the yard to water plants, wash cars or pets, etc. Rain water is not to be used for drinking, bathing, or cooking. Collecting and using rain water is an immediate way to reduce flooding around the home; reduce stress on the city’s pumping systems, which are responsible for 40% of the municipal carbon dioxide emissions; reduce erosion in urban environments; conserve potable water for domestic use, which accounts for only about 20% of overall demand.

Rain Barrels at a glance:

  • 1 1/4” of rainfall produces 600 gallons of runoff per 1,000 square feet of roof
  • One 50 gallon rain barrels catch 8% of runoff
  • Reducing potable water demand by 1 million gallons can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1-1.5 tons
  • Rain barrels can save the average homeowner about 1,300 gallons of water during the peak summer months
ELCA Youth Gathering Partner: National Audubon Society TogetherGreen Fellow Hilairie Schackai

The National Audubon Society and automaker Toyota launched the TogetherGreen initiative in 2008 to reward innovative leaders in conservation by providing financial support for community projects that make a significant impact on the environment. TogetherGreen’s programs have directly engaged 203,000 people in conservation programming in 49 states. Hilairie Schackai, Director of Community Initiatives at Longue Vue House and Gardens, received a 2011 TogetherGreen fellowship to assist with a large-scale flood mitigation project to address poor drainage in the Dwyer Canal in the Gentilly Neighborhood. Hilairie Schackai received funding to install 150 rain barrels in Gentilly to help alleviate local flooding associated with storm runoff.

Green Light New Orleans and Hilairie Schackai developed a partnership in the fall of 2011 to provide 24 extra rain barrels for Tip the Block residents in the Dwyer Canal area. Because Hillairie's project was limited to the Dwyer Canal area, Green Light New Orleans decided to launch a rain barrel program for the greater New Orleans area. With funding from the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the program got developed into a large scale flood mitigation and community outreach program. Green Light New Orleans continues to install rain barrels with unique combination of art and water management.