kidding, students can't wait! After all, it is Summer break!! The days of ice cream cones, sprinklers, food picked straight from the backyard garden and cannonball splashes in the nearest pool!! Let's face it, we are all just a wee bit excited.
We all know that our water usage skyrockets in the summer, and being a conservation district and all, I want to share some reminders of conservation in your backyard that will save both water AND money for you this year. If you want even more water conservation tips, click on the "pitcher" (double duty word!) below to visit the Water, Use it Wisely website.
1. A hose can let out up to 10 gallons of water a minute!! Use a broom instead of the hose to clean off driveways and sidewalks, and never just leave it running in the grass.
2. Sprinklers are awesome fun for kids, but can make you feel a little wasteful. To make your sprinkler work, put it in an area that needs to be watered anyways! Put a bucket in a spot to the side and catch some of the water to use for houseplants, or use the sprinkler to give your furry friend a bath (*swimsuit may be required for this activity!) while the kids play.
3. Have a pool? Using a cover keeps it cleaner (less chemicals needed!) and reduces evaporation.
4. Two words: Rain Barrel.
5. If you are planning to put a walkway around the home use pavers or gravel - anything that lets the water drain into the ground instead of running over surfaces to pick up pollutants.
6. Use 2-4 inches of mulch around plants to reduce evaporation.
7. Plant native while you're at it!
8. Throw your garden veggies in a bowl to rinse instead of running water; leftover water can be used for houseplants.
9. If you are using fertilizers, read directions to apply the correct amount! What the ground can't use goes into local waterways. That's no good.
10. Gardener? Learn about Xeriscaping, water-wise landscaping.
Thanks to everyone that filled out our online survey this year! It helps us to figure out what's working for YOU, so if you haven't taken it please do so now! Just click here and have your voice heard. Congrats to April Black of Hilltop Elementary and Melissa Burns of Sharpsburg Elementary! They both won gardening baskets for their input in the survey. Last but not least....
If you teach soils or geology and land forms read this:
1. We have two GREAT fall workshops for teachers coming up: a 6th grade soils workshop (date TBD, suggestions welcome) and a Project Underground/geology workshop (October 28th). Flyers coming soon and we hope to see you there. Email Gwen Roth (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Niki Marengo (email@example.com) with questions.
2. If you teach soils or (water), please have your students participate next year in the Soil and Water poster and essay contest. The kids really do learn soooo much and both teacher and student win prizes!! I leave you with this year's winners in the slideshow below.
Have a great summer!!