As Earth Day approaches, the spotlight on environmental consciousness brightens, and today we have a report on how students at Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) are working with Seattle Parks to make a difference by saving water – and money. The report and photo are from the school:
The Seattle Parks and Recreation Department is making an effort to examine park water usage and implement ways to conserve and reclaim water. Seattle has the highest water and sewer rates in the country.
Students at Seattle’s Explorer West Middle School were invited to share their ideas on water conservation and reclamation to the Seattle Parks Department. Four teams of eighth graders researched solutions and brainstormed ways to be more conscious with Seattle park water usage.
Three executive staff members of Seattle Parks attended the presentations at the school. As a result of this meeting, the teams have been invited to present their findings and ideas to the Seattle Parks Department Board of Commissioners on May 10th at 6:30 pm. Interim Parks Department Superintendent, Christopher Williams, will also be in attendance.
One student noted, “The average Seattle citizen uses fifty gallons of water daily. Water is a limited resource that we need to preserve. There are simple ways to preserve water, but these plans need to start somewhere.”
The students wrote comprehensive research essays and collaborated on their live presentations. Their innovative ideas ranged from water irrigation management; low flush and composting toilets; rainwater cisterns; sustainable wading ponds and spray parks instead of pools; and creative ways to reinvent golf course water usage.
“Students volunteered for the opportunity to pass along inventive approaches to water consumption and conservation,” said Explorer West Social Studies Teacher Tim Owens. “It was a stimulating conversation.”
By using these suggestions, the Seattle Parks system could preserve our precious water. Hopefully in the future, these propositions will benefit our park system and move towards ending our ongoing worldwide water crisis.
“I was impressed by how passionate the students were about the subject matter,” said Joelle Hammerstad, Seattle Parks sustainable operations manager. “The presentations were well-researched and engaging. They even introduced us to new products that we didn’t know about, which inspired us to do some of our own follow-up research.”