We can all improve our water usage habits. From the Northeast to the West, in the big city or rural farmland, whether taking care of our yards or brushing our teeth, we must protect the precious resource that is water.
The partnership between the Alliance for Water Efficiency and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation shows several ways the next generation is learning about water efficiency and bringing it to life in community outdoor spaces.
The AWE Learning Landscape Grant Program, funded by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, helps support building or improving educational outdoor spaces at schools, botanical gardens, and community locations that allow school-age children to experience hands-on learning about water efficiency in outdoor landscapes.
After a competitive application process, AWE awarded grants of $5,000 to the following eight schools and organizations whose project proposals offered the highest educational value and water efficiency benefits:
- Amigos de Los Rios, Altadena, California
- City of Houston, Houston, Texas
- Ciudad Soil and Water Conservation District, Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Denver Urban Gardens/Bradley International School, Denver, Colorado
- Edwards Aquifer Conservancy, San Antonio, Texas
- Oak Grove School District #68, Bartonville, Illinois
- Pala Environmental Department, Pala Band of Mission Indians, Pala, California
- Riverside-Corona Resource Conservation District, Riverside, California
The projects were scheduled for completion in 2020, but the pandemic created delays. Six of the projects were completed in 2021, while two projects are still underway. AWE has released a report detailing the completed projects and demonstrating the positive effects each one has had on their respective communities. View the report at https://bit.ly/3zl1oph.
“We are inspired by all of the projects developed by the selected schools and organizations,” said Katherine Dickens, ScottsMiracle-Gro Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility. “It’s important for each of us to find inventive ways to use water more efficiently while we enjoy our outdoor spaces, knowing that even small changes make a big impact. We hope these projects will encourage people in their local communities to continue working toward a sustainable water future.”
AWE also updated its Learning Landscape Lessons, a curriculum designed for educators of grades 3-8. The new lesson, “Soils: the Dirt on Dirt,” is the fourth lesson developed by the Alliance. The lessons align with the associated Next Generation Science Standards and aim to educate students on the importance of understanding and conserving our water resources outdoors. View the lessons at https://bit.ly/3mloe8y.
In addition to these shining examples of water efficiency, we’ve also compiled a quick list to help save water in your own backyard: Three tips (that you might not know) for saving water in your yard.