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Rain barrels to benefit bird sanctuary

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News, Featured

Published on June 12, 2017 with No Comments

Pictured: Porterco Conservation Trust board members (left) Joy Marburger and Bonnie Swarner accept rain barrels from Therese Haller (far right), executive director, Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction.

Porterco Conservation Trust was recently awarded two rain barrels through the Rain Barrel Demonstration Grant offered by Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction.

Porterco Conservation Trust, established to develop and oversee the Westchester Migratory Bird Sanctuary on 11th St. in Chesterton, will install the barrels at the pavilion. The collected water will be used to grow and maintain the flowers and trees the organization is planting on the site.

Porterco Conservation Trust is taking the wetland, and former garbage dump, and restoring it as a shorebird sanctuary, suitable for migrating birds to rest, feed, and prepare for their continued journeys.  Water for the site is currently purchased from the local water company and delivered by the Chesterton Fire Department. The rain barrels may eliminate the need to be ultimately connected to a water source.

“The Westchester Migratory Bird Sanctuary appreciates the donation of the rain barrels,” said Project Manager Richard Maxey. “This will give us a great opportunity for education for school children on using rain water as a source for watering plants, rather than using well or metered water. This is a method of recycling the water.”

Maxey said the sanctuary is open to the public even though the organization is still working on it. For tours, the public can call 219-477-8247 or 219-763-2401. The sanctuary is also accepting donations. Anyone wishing to donate can visit www.westchesterbird.org.

The trust was the third recipient of the Rain Barrel Demonstration Grant that was also awarded to the Town of Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission and the Moraine Ridge Wildlife Rehabilitation Center last month.

Schools and community organizations in Porter County can apply to receive rain barrels through this grant. Approved applicants may receive up to two rain barrels they can install in public spaces and become active stewards of local watershed water quality.

Grant applications are available on www.PorterCountyRecycling.org. For more information, contact Therese Haller, 219-465-3815.

The grant is available thanks to funding provided in part by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Lake Michigan Coastal Program.

Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction is an agency dedicated to improving the environment and quality of life by providing services and educational programs which help residents reduce, reuse, and recycle.

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