Cal Water H2O Classroom Challenge

Living in Southern California has it’s perks. Great weather, beautiful scenery and an abundance of recreational activities. You can enjoy everything from coastal living, take a mountain hike to even enjoying the desert lifestyle…..all within just a few hours from each other. We are not limited but these drastic weather changes that come with land changes, has taken it’s toll on the state. We have farmlands that are depleted and the water table is no longer able to support what was a bountiful land. There is a reason why our crops suffer and no longer yield the harvest they use to.  You add the enormous amount of fires are state suffers from, which have left “fire scars” on our lands.  You have lack of vegetation that creates a danger to the surviving homes.  So, even getting rain becomes a hazard from mudslides and flooding.

Education is crucial at any age, however sharing knowledge and the importance of conserving doesn’t require an age number. There is no age limit to learning not to waste! Water is abundant when you look at our very blue hued plant, but clean water is a another story. Water that can be safely used is not so easy to access. The world has been impacted by this ongoing crisis but simple changes can aid the situation greatly. The North American Association for Environmental Education has partnered up with the California Water Service, creating an educational program advocating projects in a classroom that impact global to local changes, I was all for supporting such cause.

Teachers and students will be able to brainstorm and contribute a final plan. The plan can be addressing global issues or local community changes that can make a positive impact. Conservation is a key, but being able to educate can also yield the opportunity in addressing a community resource waste (i.e. overrunning of sprinklers by municipalities). Teachers and students will then submit a portfolio that will be judged by a panel of experts, which will provide the opportunity in winning the Cal Water H20 Classroom Water Challenge!

California Water Service     NAAEE Logo

Winners of the Cal Water H2O Classroom Challenge will receive:

  • Grand Prize-
    Class Celebration: Classroom tent-camping
    trip to the Santa Monica Mountains with
    NatureBridge
    Class Funding: $3,500 grant
    Extras: Cal Water prize packs for every student
  • Second Place Prize-
    Class Celebration: A Pizza Party
    Class Funding: $2,500 grant
    Extras: Cal Water prize packs for every student
  • Third Place Prize-
    Class Funding: $2,000 grant
    Extras: Cal Water prize packs for every student
  • Fourth Place Prize-
    Class Funding: $1,000 grant
    Extras: Cal Water prize packs for every student
    All Participant Prizes
    Student Recognition: An official certificate of
    participation for every student
    Teacher Recognition: A teacher certificate
    Teacher Gift: An AMEX gift card

Our local city has made changes by adding water drip systems and getting rid of water hungry plants like grass that use to suffer the heat waves.  Big decisions needed to be made and some became a local sore subject because old trees that suffered the impact of such temperature increases, needed to be removed.  Thinking green is not always easy and that means sometimes removing hazards like aging trees.  The root systems could no longer support ailing trees that were planted when water was abundant or when conservation was a choice.  We did the same when it came to reducing how much grass we have and have current plans to remove more, which will mean less sprinklers being needed.  Fountains have been turned into planters, more drought tolerant plants have been planted and we got rid of most our Italian Cypress trees (more than 23 of them) that are a fire hazard.  Our local Fire Department likes to refer to them trees as roman candles because this is how they light up, due to all the dead material they hold inside.  Hard decisions but we need to think not only about ourselves, but also the safety of our neighbors.  It’s no longer just about reducing the number of water gallons we use in California per household, but also making sure we have nothing that can feed a fire if one should arise.

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