William Bean’s Rainwater Collection System for the Nature Center!

In February 2017, William Bean completed his Eagle Scout Project in coalition with the Friends of Sherwood Island. His project was to design and implement a rainwater collection system outside of the nature center as well as construct plans for and build an underground irrigation system where the collected rainwater is able to be used in a nearby vegetable garden. The completed project is able to collect 240 gallons of water, and be used to water the garden with a convenient spigot on the garden’s post. The project was also designed to be a source of education at the nature center, so that others may gain the knowledge of rainwater collection and the environmental, positive externalities that rain barrels have.

One challenge in completing the project was the design of the rainwater barrel system. The system was initially envisioned with six barrels to correspond the gutters along the building. However, the design with six barrels was not financially feasible for the planned budget. William found that three barrels would more than adequately be able to collect the water needed for the garden all summer. After discussions with the Friends of Sherwood Island and local advisors, a plan with three rainwater barrels was determined to be sufficient.

The largest challenge, however, was unavoidable. On the day of installation in early February, the ground was frozen solid. Working together with Paul, the park ranger, we were able to use the park’s backhoe to dig the necessary trenches for the PVC piping.


Aside from the challenges, the project was successfully completed within the budget, and will be a future educational tool for the Nature Center at the Sherwood Island State Park. Volunteers ranged from friends, scouts, parents, siblings, advisors, and park rangers. William learned the unique skill of preparing, organizing, and implementing a large project as well as the importance of planning and teamwork. William appreciates the guidance from Scoutmaster Patton, who helped to identify the needs of Sherwood Island, and was instrumental in many aspects of the project. Thank you.

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