Sue Gardner Fenster's rain barrel is kid-centric.

It's a lesson in primary colors, counting and cooperation.

"There are some garden critters," Fenster says, "and they are supervising a group of fairies gathering the dew."

Her barrel - titled "Dew Gathering" - and two dozen others in Lincoln's second annual Artistic Rain Barrel program will be on display around the city starting Monday through April 9.

Fenster picked the Gere Branch Library, near 56th Street and Normal Boulevard, to host her barrel.

"I thought there would be more children at that site, so that's how I arrived at that one," she said.

After the display period ends, the barrels will be auctioned, with the proceeds to be used for scholarships for low-income children to attend Nature Camp and preschool at the Pioneers Park Nature Center. Last year's auction raised $5,330.

The scholarship part of the program, which was organized by the City's Watershed Management Division and the Friends of Pioneers Park Nature Center, was a big draw for Fenster, who has three children of her own.

She's also been wanting a rain barrel of her own for a while, she said.

The barrels are used for collecting and filtering rain water for later use. A single night of heavy rain can fill an entire barrel.

"I was so tickled that it was so environmentally friendly," Fenster said. "It's just a good thing."

Reach Zach Pluhacek at 473-7234 or