Stu­dents ex­cel atWater Fiesta

Home - Santa Fe Real Estate Guide - - WATERMATTERS - CHRIS­TINE Y. CHAVEZ

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 cy­chavez@santafenm.gov.

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