Representatives from the City of Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management, Office of Water Efficiency taught Ralph J. Bunche Middle School sixth-graders how to conserve water and explore careers in environmental science through the ‘Be Water Wise Atlanta’ Water Conservation Workshop on Tuesday morning. Be Water Wise is a national program that engages partners from the public, private and nonprofit sectors to raise awareness of local water issues and improve water conservation in school buildings and grounds. The workshop is the first of many that will be conducted by the Office of Water Efficiency under the Be Water Wise Atlanta program.
During the workshop, Bunche students in groups of 20 rotated among the following stations: How to Build a Rain Barrel, facilitated by Kimberly Davis, environmental education specialist, City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management, Office of Water Efficiency; Life of a Water Drop by Yolanda Boazman and Carol Jones; and Envioralscape by Jennifer Carlile. “We want their generation to be aware of how to conserve water, think about careers that lead to environmental science and to become good stewards of the natural resources we have,” said Davis.
Bunche is one of eight Atlanta Public Schools that is participating in the Be Water Wise Atlanta pilot program launched in May 2010 during National Environmental Education Week. Other participating schools include Burgess-Peterson Academy, E. Rivers Elementary, Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy, John F. Kennedy Middle School, D. M. Therrell School of Technology, Engineering, Math & Science; Frederick Douglass High School, and Carver School of Health Sciences & Research.
Between March and April of last year, Bunche students assessed water use at their school, inspecting each water usage device (faucets, sinks, water fountains, etc.) to check for leaks and measure flow rates. Students then analyzed their results and developed a plan to conserve water in their school. They presented their findings and conservation plans to the Atlanta City Council in May. As a result, Bunche was awarded a $1,000 Be Water Wise Atlanta grant in October from the National Environmental Education Foundation, Johnson Controls, Inc. and the City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management to implement their school-wide water conservation plan.