Milwaukee Community Service Corps Makes a Splash with Rain Barrels


With the ever-present threat of draught and the increasing cost of water, residents throughout many Wisconsin communities are installing Corps-made rain barrels to conserve and cut the cost of maintaining their yards and gardens. Corpsmembers at the Milwaukee Community Service Corps build these barrels out of recycled soda syrup drums-keeping the plastic drums out of landfills and creating an innovative water conservation device. Through a partnership with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), the rain barrels are distributed for sale throughout Milwaukee through MMSD, area natural foods stores, and nature conservancies. Recently, the utility manager for the city of Burlington, WI began ordering the rain barrels for her community-selling out even before her first supply of barrels arrived. MMSD has sold over 11,000 barrels since the program began four years ago, and in that time, Corpsmembers have learned the assembly and conservation skills that have made this program such a success. Learn more about the program and read about the impact the barrels have had in Burlington.