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Award-Winning Student Artwork Inspires 2020 Water Conservation Calendar

The City of San Diego’s colorful 2020 Water Conservation Calendar features winning artwork from 19 students throughout San Diego. This is the 20th year the calendar has been produced by the City’s Public Utilities Department. The theme was water conservation.

“The children’s artwork in these calendars is fantastic, and helps present the importance of reducing water use,” said Shauna Lorance, director of the Public Utilities Department.

Award-Winning Student Artwork Inspires 2020 Water Conservation Calendar

The City of San Diego’s colorful 2020 Water Conservation Calendar features winning artwork from 19 students throughout San Diego.

This is the 20th year the calendar has been produced by the City’s Public Utilities Department. The theme was water conservation.

“The children’s artwork in these calendars is fantastic, and helps present the importance of reducing water use,” said Shauna Lorance, director of the Public Utilities Department. “I encourage San Diegans to pick up a calendar and learn about water conservation all year.”

More than 100 San Diego children entered the 2020 Water Conservation Calendar Kids’ Poster Contest.

Second-grade student Isabella Chen of Solana Ranch Elementary School in Carmel Valley is a two-time winner. She placed second in 2019 as a first-grader, and is the first place winner for her grade this year.

There were five winners from Solana Ranch Elementary, the most for any single school.

The complete list of winning student artists:

First Place winner, First Grade: Sophia Shuwen Hu, Monterey Ridge Elementary, 4S Ranch 2020 Water Conservation Calendar

First Place winner, First Grade: Sophia Shuwen Hu, Monterey Ridge Elementary, 4S Ranch

First Grade  

  • First Place: Sophia Shuwen Hu, Monterey Ridge Elementary, 4S Ranch
  • Second Place: Victoria Wang, Canyon View Elementary, Rancho Bernardo
  • Third Place: Isabella Yang, Solana Ranch Elementary, Carmel Valley
First Place, Second Grade: Isabella Chen, Solana Ranch Elementary, Carmel Valley 2020 Water Conservation Calendar

First Place winner, Second Grade: Isabella Chen, Solana Ranch Elementary, Carmel Valley

Second Grade         

  • First Place: Isabella Chen, Solana Ranch Elementary, Carmel Valley
  • Second Place: Amber Liu, Solana Ranch Elementary, Carmel Valley
  • Third Place: Kenzie Shaaban, Jerabek Elementary, Scripps Ranch
First Place, Third Grade: Derick Chi, Sage Canyon Elementary, Carmel Valley 2020 Water Conservation Calendar

First Place winner, Third Grade: Derick Chi, Sage Canyon Elementary, Carmel Valley

Third Grade 

  • First Place: Derick Chi, Sage Canyon Elementary, Carmel Valley
  • Second Place: Claire Wang, Stone Ranch Elementary, 4S Ranch
  • Third Place: Rosabel Wang, Ocean Air Elementary, Carmel Valley
First Place winner, Fourth Grade: Veronica Yu, Del Mar Pines Elementary, Carmel Valley 2020 Water Conservation Calendar

First Place winner, Fourth Grade: Veronica Yu, Del Mar Pines Elementary, Carmel Valley

Fourth Grade          

  • First Place: Veronica Yu, Del Mar Pines Elementary, Carmel Valley
  • Second Place: Katherine Chen, Monterey Ridge Elementary, 4S Ranch
  • Third Place: Alice Li, Monterey Ridge Elementary, 4S Ranch
First Place winner, Fifth Grade: Joshua Lee, Marie Curie Elementary, University City

First Place winner, Fifth Grade: Joshua Lee, Marie Curie Elementary, University City

Fifth Grade  

  • First Place: Joshua Lee, Marie Curie Elementary, University City
  • Second Place: Lily Saganich, Solana Pacific Elementary, Carmel Valley
  • Third Place: Teodora Matic, Solana Pacific Elementary, Carmel Valley
First Place winner, Sixth Grade: Sarah Huang, Solana Ranch Elementary, Carmel Valley

First Place winner, Sixth Grade: Sarah Huang, Solana Ranch Elementary, Carmel Valley

Sixth Grade 

  • First Place: Sierra Huang, Solana Ranch Elementary, Carmel Valley
  • Second Place: Patrick Jang, Solana Ranch Elementary, Carmel Valley
  • Third Place: Sarah Lehman, Muirlands Middle, La Jolla

Recycled Water Winner: Mia Banerjee, John Spreckels Elementary, University City (Third Grade)

Recycled Water Winner    

  • Mia Banerjee, John Spreckels Elementary, University City (Third Grade)

Copies of the 2020 Kids’ Poster Contest Calendar are available for free at all City of San Diego Public Library branches and Recreation Centers. For water conservation tips, rebates and other information, go to www.wastenowater.org.

Calendar poster contest winner Maya Santana, a fifth grader from Wolf Canyon Elementary School in the Otay Water District, displays her winning artwork. Photo: Otay Water District Water Is Life Calendar

Student Artists Featured in 2020 ‘Water Is Life’ Calendar

Five talented San Diego County student artists from four elementary schools were among 36 Southern California students whose artwork will appear in the 2020 “Water Is Life” calendar.

The five artists represent regional water agencies including Helix Water District, Otay Water District, Padre Dam MWD, and Sweetwater Authority.

Produced by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, The “Water is Life” Student Art Calendar showcases student artwork with imaginative messages of water conservation and water resource stewardship. Students in grades K-6 submit artwork through participating member agencies after winning their local competition.

The five regional winners, their families, and member agency representatives were invited to attend an art exhibit and recognition luncheon at MWD’s Los Angeles office in December.

Winning students from the San Diego region include:

Maya Santana's winning artwork appears in August 2020. Photo: MWD
Maya Santana’s winning artwork appears in August. Photo: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Maya Santana, a fifth grader from Wolf Canyon Elementary School, which is in the Otay Water District’s service area. Her artwork  “Save Don’t Waste” appears in August 2020.
Artwork by Rencel Chiara Charifa is featured in October 2020.  Photo: MWD
Artwork by Rencel Chiara Charifa is featured in October. Photo: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Rencel Chiara Charifa, a fifth grader from Central Elementary School, which is served by the Sweetwater Authority. Her poster “Water Angel” appears in October. 
Valeria Ramirez has her artwork included in November 2020. Photo: MWD
Valeria Ramirez has her artwork included in November. Photo: Metropoltian Water District of Southern California

Valeria Ramirez, a fourth grader from St. John of the Cross Catholic School, within the Helix Water District service area. Her artwork “Take Care of Water, You’ll Have a Better Future” appears in November.

Violet Jacobson and Zoe Miles share the spotlight in December 2020. Photo: MWD
Violet Jacobson and Zoe Miles share the spotlight in December. Photo: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Violet Jacobson, is in the third grade at Hill Creek Elementary School, which is served by the Padre Dam Municipal Water District. Her poster, “Water Is Life: Everything Needs Water” appears in December.

Zoe Miles, a sixth grader at Flying Hills Elementary School, which is served by the Helix Water District. Her entry, “Less Use = More  Water,” also appears in December.  

See the full calendar here.

Calendar contest provides educational opportunity

Original winning artwork was displayed as part of a recognition event on December 11. Photo: Otay Water District
Original winning artwork was displayed as part of a recognition event on December 11. Photo: Otay Water District

The “Water is Life” poster contest is one of many educational opportunities offered to students to demonstrate how water is a precious and essential resource. By creating water-related art, students enhance their understanding of the importance of water.

Chosen among hundreds of entries, the final selection of 36 art pieces is featured in the annual “Water is Life” Student Art Calendar with an annual distribution of 13,000 recipients.

Water News Network Top 3 Stories of 2019

The Water News Network’s top three stories of 2019 reflect the San Diego region’s interest in water conservation, sustainable landscaping, and successful efforts to diversify water supply sources.

our hundred community members took tours of the five-step water purification process at the Demonstration Facilities. Photo: City of San Diego

Awards Recognize Water Agency Outreach and Education Efforts

The San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America recognized the San Diego County Water Authority and three regional member water agencies for exceptional work in public outreach and education efforts at its annual Bernays Awards ceremonies on Nov. 7.

The initiatives are designed to inform stakeholders and ratepayers about initiatives ensuring a safe and reliable water supply.

Water agency outreach and communication programs supporting the region’s projects using proven water purification technology to purify recycled water to create new local sources of high-quality drinking water won multiple honors.

The Water Authority’s informative “Brought To You By Water” video series, highlighting the importance of water reliability to the region’s economy, also won recognition.

Visitors learn about technology used to purify and recycle water at Pure Water Oceanside open house outreach events. Photo: City of Oceanside Water agency outreach

Visitors learn about the technology used to purify and recycle water at Pure Water Oceanside open house outreach events. Photo: City of Oceanside

The City of Oceanside won in three categories for Pure Water Oceanside:

Bronze Award of Excellence, Research/Evaluation

“Research Makes a Difference.” Pure Water Oceanside, City of Oceanside, and NV5 Inc.

Bronze Award of Excellence, Community Relations, Nonprofit/Government/Association

Pure Water Oceanside, City of Oceanside, and NV5 Inc.

Silver Award of Merit, Events, and Observances (7 days or fewer, Nonprofit/Government/Association)

“Pure Water Oceanside – World of Water,” City of Oceanside and NV5 Inc.

“Providing our water customers with quality and creative communications is a cornerstone of our transparency efforts,” said Cari Dale, water utilities director for the City of Oceanside. “By being recognized by PRSA for our passion, creativity and innovative methods to communicate about Pure Water Oceanside – a program that will provide a new, local source of high-quality drinking water as soon as 2021 – our public outreach work is validated in bringing such an important and beneficial project to Oceanside.”

Visitors to the East County Water Festival on Sept. 8 can t, tour the East County Advanced Water Purification Demonstration Facility. Photo: Courtesy Padre Dam MWDVisitors to the East County Water Festival on Sept. 8 tour the East County Advanced Water Purification Demonstration Facility. Photo: Courtesy Padre Dam MWD

The East County Advanced Water Purification Program, which includes the Padre Dam Municipal Water District, City of El Cajon, County of San Diego, won with NV5 in two categories for its East County Water Festival. It received an Award of Excellence in the Creative Tactics category and was also named a “Best of Show” winner among all Bronze entries.

“As a public entity of the communities we serve, it is imperative that we communicate effectively the benefit and need of key water projects,” said Melissa McChesney, communications manager for the Padre Dam Municipal Water District. “Our outreach team has done an outstanding job sharing with our communities the importance of the East County Advanced Water Purification Project. I am thrilled to see this essential work recognized by PRSA.”

Attendees enjoyed a variety of family-friendly activities at the third annual Pure Water Day. Photo: City of San Diego

Attendees enjoyed a variety of family-friendly activities at the third annual Pure Water Day. Photo: City of San Diego

The City of San Diego won a Bronze Award of Excellence for its Community Outreach in the Nonprofit/Government/Association category for its work on behalf of Pure Water San Diego’s Phase 1.

“The City of San Diego and Katz & Associates were pleased to have Pure Water San Diego’s community outreach efforts recognized by PRSA,” said Amy Dorman, deputy director, Pure Water Operations. “The Pure Water San Diego team formed community-specific working groups to gather informed feedback on how to avoid or minimize construction impacts from future Pure Water pipelines.”

The Water Authority’s regional outreach and education program, “Brought to You by Water,” was recognized with several awards.

The B2UbyH2O program was designed to expand Water Authority relationships and help stakeholders across the region recognize the critical value of safe and reliable water supplies for our economy and quality of life.

The program won Bronze Bernays Awards in the Video/Video Program and Creative Tactics categories for a series of videos featuring local leaders discussing the importance of water to their business or industry.

The series also won Silver Bernays awards in the Public Service category and the Reputation/Brand Management category.

Denise Vedder, director of the Water Authority Public Outreach and Conservation Department, was honored as the Public Relations Professional of the Year for the PRSA San Diego/Imperial Counties chapter. The honor is presented each year to a public relations practitioner who shows dedication to bettering the public relations field through innovative thinking and successful planning.

Past winners include Diana Lucero, director of marketing and public relations, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority and Chris Wahl, president, Southwest Strategies.

Visitors learn about technology used to purify and recycle water at a recent Pure Water Oceanside open house. Photo: City of Oceanside

Pure Water Oceanside Project Construction Slated For 2020

The City of Oceanside is joining the City of San Diego and East San Diego County in adding advanced purified water to its drinking water supply. The Pure Water Oceanside project is expected to break ground next spring and begin producing advanced purified water in 2022.

The Padre Dam Municipal Water District, Helix Water District and the City of San Diego, are among the water agencies in San Diego County that are developing or expanding water recycling to increase the local water supply.

Pure Water Oceanside tour participants can try filtering water as part of the tour experience. Photo: City of Oceanside

People can try filtering water as part of Pure Water Oceanside tour activities. Photo: City of Oceanside

The Oceanside project launched in March with a “World of Water” community open house attended by more than 400 people. Building on the interest generated at the event, the city opened its doors for the public, schools and scouts to experience Pure Water Oceanside on October 15. The next community event is scheduled for November 9.

“The incredible interest, success and feedback from the community event demonstrated a true thirst for water knowledge and a strong desire to see, first-hand, water facilities located in the community,” said Cari Dale, water utilities director for the City of Oceanside. “Pure Water Oceanside is an important and smart investment and we find tremendous value in educating the public about the importance of diversifying the city’s water supply.”

Technology used to recycle and purify water on display

Water membranes like the ones that will be used as part of the Pure Water Oceanside project are on display during public tours. Photo: City of Oceanside

Water membranes like the ones that will be used as part of the Pure Water Oceanside project are on display during public tours. Photo: City of Oceanside

The tours offer a behind-the-scenes look of the San Luis Rey Water Reclamation and Mission Basin Groundwater Purification Facilities, where guests can take a hands-on approach and learn about the technology used to recycle and purify water.

Pure Water Oceanside will purify recycled water to create a new local source of high-quality drinking water that is clean, safe, drought-proof and environmentally sound. The project will produce enough water to provide 32% of the city’s water supply, or between 3 and 5 million gallons of water per day.

In addition to tours, Oceanside has developed a comprehensive public education program for the water purification project, including a video, fact sheet, FAQ and community group presentations. To experience Pure Water Oceanside and sign up for an upcoming tour, go to: www.PureWaterOceanside.org.

READ MORE: Pure Water Day Delivers Pure Family Fun

 

Fleet Science Center Selected to Join National Effort to Train More STEM Teachers

A national organization dedicated to addressing the STEM teacher shortage, 100Kin10, announced that a SanDiego museum will join 40 other new partners this year. In addition to the Fleet Science Center, the partners include the Chicago Public Schools and National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

The 2017 Spring Garden and Butterfly Festival at The Water Conservation Garden. Photo: Water Conservation Garden

Water Conservation Garden Awarded SDG&E Environmental Champion Grant

The Water Conservation Garden’s Ms. Smarty-Plants program received a $25,000 Environmental Champion Grant in June from SDG&E.

The award comes as The Garden, at Cuyamaca College in El Cajon, celebrates its 20th anniversary.

“SDG&E has been a long-time supporter of The Garden and its innovative Ms. Smarty-Plants education program,” said Jennifer Pillsbury, executive director/CEO of The Water Conservation Garden. “In fact, SDG&E was one of the first funders to provide seed funding that allowed the program to have the widespread impact it has today. We are grateful for their support.”

Support from water agencies help fund innovative education program

Support from the San Diego County Water Authority and from several other water agencies also was critical to establishing and growing the program, which reached over 80,000 children and adults a year by 2016.

The six-acre garden is governed by an independent, nonprofit board of directors and receives funding from the San Diego County Water Authority, City of San Diego, Cuyamaca College, Helix Water District, Otay Water District and the Sweetwater Authority. Memberships, donations, grants, facility rentals and gift shop sales also support The Garden.

Conservation education program in 11th year

Water agencies created The Garden to demonstrate water conservation techniques and to provide environmental education.

“In its 11th year, the Ms. Smarty-Plants programs have touched nearly 350,000 children and adults, focusing on youth from disadvantaged communities who have limited access to safe nature spaces,” Pillsbury added.

Pam Meisner is Ms. Smarty-Plants

Pam Meisner started the conservation program in 2008 at the Water Conservation Garden. Photo: The Water Conservation Garden

Pam Meisner, also known as Ms. Smarty-Plants, started the conservation program in 2008. Meisner is a lifelong educator with more than 30 years teaching experience advocating for fun and interactive learning in nature as well as bringing conservation into the classroom.

Upcoming events at The Water Conservation Garden

  • August 23: Nature Nights with Ms. Smarty-Plants
  • August 24: Water System Consultation with Brook Sarson of CatchingH2O/H2OME
  • September 28: Backyard Composting Workshop

On November 16, The Garden is hosting a 20th anniversary concert. The event begins at 5:00 pm with a reception featuring food and drink stations, music and unique auction items.

For more information on these and other events go to:  https://thegarden.org/events/

Vallecitos Water District contest winners are honored at the July board L to R: Sierra Whiteside, Zofia Dowd. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

San Diego County Students Inspire Water Conservation Through Art

Three talented fourth grade students in north San Diego County will have their winning drawings featured in the 2020 “Be Water Smart” calendar produced by the Vallecitos Water District. The students were honored by the District’s Board of Directors at its July meeting.

To develop and promote water conservation awareness from an early age, the District holds a calendar contest available to all fourth graders in its service area. The top three drawings go on to represent the District in the regional North County Water Agency calendar for the following year.

Water conservation art features nature themes

Sierra Whiteside is the first place winner and "Viewer's Choice winner in the Vallecitos Water District calendar art contest. Photo: Courtesy Vallecitos Water District

Sierra Whiteside is the first place winner and “Viewer’s Choice” winner in the Vallecitos Water District calendar art contest. Photo: Courtesy Vallecitos Water District

Sierra Whiteside from Carrillo Elementary School won first place and also the “Viewer’s Choice” award through a public vote on the District’s social media channels. She wins a froYo party compliments of Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt. Sierra says she will save water by “making an invention that gives you only the water you need.”

Sofia Dowd won second place in the Vallecitos Water District calendar art contest. Photo: Courtesy Vallecitos Water District

Zofia Dowd won second place in the Vallecitos Water District calendar art contest. Photo: Courtesy Vallecitos Water District

Zofia Dowd from Double Peak School received second place for her artwork featuring a whale. Zofia says she will save water by “taking short showers, not running water, taking buckets to fill up water in the rain, and will only use water when needed.”

Lia Van Der Jagt won third place in the Vallecitos Water District calendar art contest. Photo: Courtesy Vallecitos Water District

Lia VanferJagt won third place in the Vallecitos Water District calendar art contest. Photo: Courtesy Vallecitos Water District

Lia VanderJagt, also a student at Double Peak School won third place for her artwork depicting the earth. Lia says she will save water by “doing my best to use less of it and value it more.” She will take shorter showers and only fill her cup to what she can drink.

Skylar Groke from Carrillo Elementary School is the honorable mention winner. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Honorable mention went to Skylar Groke from Carrillo Elementary School for his rainbow artwork.

All winners received Amazon gift cards.

The Vallecitos Water District extends its sincere appreciation to Menchie’s and all of the students who participated in this year’s contest. The contest is held annually with a submission deadline of April 10. Click here for contest rules and entry form. For questions or to receive a free calendar, contact the District’s Public Information Department through email or at (760) 744-0460.

READ MORE: Poster Contest Winners Illustrate ‘Water Is Life’

 

 

The newly opened Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve Interpretive Center was constructed as a centerpiece of environmental education through a cooperative effort. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve Celebrates Decade of Outdoor Education

Residents, volunteers, and officials gathered June 1 at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve in Escondido to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its Interpretive Center honoring Susan J. Varty.

Visitors explore the Interpretive Center on its opening day June 1. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Visitors explore the Interpretive Center on its opening day June 1. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Located at OMWD’s Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve, the center was constructed as a centerpiece of environmental education through a cooperative effort between OMWD and the Escondido Creek Conservancy.

“As we celebrate ten years of operation, we couldn’t be more proud of what we have accomplished by working together,” said OMWD Board Secretary Robert Kephart. “Yet, without the dedicated support of docents and donors, this one-of-a-kind facility with its many successful education programs would not have been possible. We also honor their efforts today.”

The Center’s namesake, Susan J. Varty, served as an OMWD board director from 1994 until her death in 2009. She exhibited a passion and tenacity for water issues and environmental preservation.

Reserve provides regional resource for outdoor education, and environmental appreciation

The Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve provides a wealth of opportunities for recreation, outdoor education, and environmental appreciation for all ages. Photo: Olivehain Municipal Water District

The Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve provides a wealth of opportunities for recreation, outdoor education, and environmental appreciation for all ages. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

The Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve provides a wealth of opportunities for recreation, outdoor education, and environmental appreciation.

Olivenhain partnered with the San Diego County Water Authority and the Bureau of Land Management to develop the 784-acre Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve as part of the regional Emergency Storage Project. The reserve opened in 1992. Currently, the reserve offers approximately 11 miles of hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails, as well as picnic areas and scenic mountain viewing points.

The Escondido Creek Conservancy has formed alliances with landowners, government agencies, and education and community groups to increase awareness of the invaluable resources intrinsic to the Escondido Creek watershed.

Originally, Olivenhain planned to construct a cinder block building with the assistance of a $68,500 grant from California’s Department of Parks and Recreation. The Conservancy sought at the same time to establish a location close to Escondido Creek for hosting educational programs. The timing allowed the organizations to form a mutually beneficial partnership.

The new Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve's Interpretive Center features The building also features green design elements such as recycled building materials, solar panels powered by photovoltaic cells, and a green roof. Photo: Olivehain Municipal Water District

The new Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve’s Interpretive Center features green design elements such as recycled building materials, solar panels powered by photovoltaic cells, and a green roof. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

The Conservancy raised over $565,000 from individual donors to complete the enhanced design and center construction. Another $200,000 was raised for educational programs, including wildlife displays and nature activities.

Renowned local artist James T. Hubbell designed the center and several original works by Hubbell and his collaborations with other artists are on display. The building also features green design elements such as recycled building materials, solar panels powered by photovoltaic cells, and a green roof.

New grant funding provides educational field trips

The new Escondido Creek Eichen Education Fund will continue the joint education programs held at the Elfin Forest's interpretive center in perpetuity. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

The new Escondido Creek Eichen Education Fund will continue the joint education programs held at the Elfin Forest’s interpretive center in perpetuity. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

More than 3,650 students visited the reserve on field trips during the 2018-2019 school year. The Conservancy provides the opportunity for students in disadvantaged communities to attend field trips through grant funding. Additional education partners are the Nature Collective and San Diego Zoo.

At the event, the Conservancy announced the creation of the Escondido Creek Eichen Education Fund. The new fund will continue the joint education programs held at the center in perpetuity.

“The Escondido Creek Conservancy’s education department helps bring thousands of underserved, urban-based students from Escondido out to the Elfin Forest every year so they can experience the outdoors, many for the first time in their lives,“ said Conservancy board member Jeff Swenerton. “This is vitally important because we can’t expect the next generation to value nature if they’ve never been exposed to it.

“We’re reaching more children now than in any other time in our organization’s history,” added Swenerton. “It’s very exciting to see the impact we’re making, but we’ve reached a point where we need to launch the Escondido Creek Eichen Education Fund campaign to sustain our success and enable us to continue connecting children with nature.”

The center is open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., depending on the availability of the reserve’s 65 docents. View the current docent schedule on the center’s website.