The Rochester Institute of Technology chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW), launched of the first rainwater collection and watering system for the gardening and greenhouse at the First Market Farm on Saturday.

The event featured the rainwater collection project, which is a designed and built irrigation system that holds a 930-gallon reserve of water for year-around access.

Collaborating with Taproot Collective, a nonprofit organization with the mission to design and build holistic systems for healthy local food and dignified housing, will enable urban farmers at First Market Farm to use the reserve of water installed by volunteers and students. 

The event also featured a new fence installation thanks to grants from the Rochester Area Community Foundation.

Local and state ESW chapters host similar events with students and young professionals nationwide each year to introduce youth to sustainable living through the Build Day programs. Build Day was created by ESW that creates local sustainable change by bringing together local technical expertise and community power.

The public, community leaders, and engineers will work together to design, educate, and build a sustainable solution to a locally pressing issue such as stable food production, clean and equal water access, and urban rehabilitation.

“With water resources becoming increasingly stressed due to the effects of climate change, moving towards using the free, natural resource of rainwater in replacement of traditional water sources will provide innumerable benefits to local communities such as increased resiliency and connection to the local environment,” RIT Build Day Project Lead, Carson McNatt said. I’ve always wanted to implement such a system, and I’m very glad Taproot Collective gave me the opportunity to do so.”