Students excel atWater Fiesta
The school year is well on its way and the City of Santa FeWater Conservation Office has staff working on many outreach programs. The 16th annualWater Fiesta was a huge success in the month of October, with over 600 4th-grade students going through a series of water-related activities from many presenters including Sandia National Laboratory, the New Mexico Environment Department, the Office of the State Engineer, the City of Rio Rancho, and the Albuquerque Water Utility Authority. City of Santa Fe departments including Buckman Direct Diversion, Canyon Road Treatment Plant, Water Resources, andWater Conservation also coordinated activities.
We were also fortunate to have peer educators fromSanta Fe High School and Monte del Sol Charter School helping us out with their own presentations. With every room in the Santa Fe Community Convention Center occupied for two days with presenters and students, and even the mayor making a surprise visit, we consider the event to have been a huge success.
TheWater Fiesta also served as the first stop for our Passport Program students who showed up as VIP guests. These students get a special rotation at ourWater Fiesta and will get additional field trips to the Buckman Direct Diversion and the Wastewater Treatment Plant along with two in-class presentations from the city’s recycling program and an “energy-water nexus” presentation from city staff. Last year, 323 students participated and there was a a 38 percent increase in knowledge from the program. We couldn’t be more excited to have another round of students join us in the program this year.
The 4th-grade students who were part of the Passport Program last year are all part of the Passport Expansion Program this year, which includes an in-class visit, a field trip out to the MunicipalWatershed, and a follow-up visit that includes assessments. The expansion program is developed out of a partnership with the City of Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Watershed Association and is part of their MyWater, MyWatershed program. The Passport students only make up a small portion of all the classes that are part of the program. CityWater Conservation Office staff accompanies Santa Fe Watershed Association staff and teaches a water-conservation activity as part of the program. By the end of the school year, our staff will have reached out to approximately 900 5th-grade students as part of this initiative.
Wewould like to take this opportunity to thank all of the many volunteers who helped us outwith this year’sWater Fiesta which included all of the different participating organizations and City staff.
Christine Y. Chavez has a background in water rights administration and energy and water conservation program management in the state of New Mexico. She is a graduate of New Mexico State University with a B.S. in environmental science and an M.S. in biology. Christine is theWater Conservation Manager for the City of Santa Fe. She may be reached at 505.955.4219 or email@example.com.