Monday, March 23, 2009

GROUNDWATER "Sweet 16 Bracket"

In the spirit of March Madness, let’s fill the top “sweet 16” brackets of ways to protect and conserve our precious natural resource—GROUNDWATER! Here are four to get you started…

1) Take shorter showers
2) Check for leaky faucets/toilets and have them fixed
3) Shut water off while brushing your teeth
4) Dispose of chemicals properly

Monday, March 16, 2009

Economic Challenges for Environmental Education

Environmental education is endorsed by 95% of adult Americans according to a 2001 Roper Report, yet that same report says that most Americans are largely uninformed or misinformed about environmental issues. For example, the survey found that 45 million Americans think the ocean is a source of fresh water; another 120 million people think disposable diapers are the leading problem with landfills when they actually represent about 1% of the problem.

Obviously, continued environmental education is needed, to face the current and new challenges regarding water quality and quantity. Yet, where do the dollars come from to support environmental education especially in the current economic situation?

It is clear the American public understands the importance of protecting our environment but to do so effectively people need to truly understand the issues and their role in protection. The question is: how will environmental education be supported in the future?

Please share your thoughts and ideas by responding to this blog.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Roll out the barrel, spring is right around the corner

by Carla Otredosky, The Groundwater Foundation

Out my window, the grass is beginning to peer from beneath the melting snow, a flock of birds gather and cheerfully chat. I note on my calendar to adjust my clock for daylight savings time this weekend and know that spring is just around the corner.
This got me thinking.

What is one simple thing that I can do in my own yard to become a groundwater-friendly gardener in 2009?

Use a rain barrel! A rain barrel is a large drum (50-60 gallon capacity) placed beneath the downspout of a home. This barrel collects rain water as it runs off the roof where it is stored for later use to water gardens and lawns.

The idea of capturing rain water has been around for thousands of years. While rain seems like an infinite resource, it is desperatley missed during a time of drought. If your water supply comes from a well or a stressed aquifer, then you are even more at risk during a dry spell of not having water available to irrigate your garden or lawn. Using a rain barrel is a great way to lower your water bill and become less dependent on your city’s water supply.

Rain barrels are an easy solution to becoming a groundwater-friendly gardener because they are easy to install and require very little maintenance.

Rain barrels are often available in shades of brown, black or green. But they can be painted in a color to match your house. Consider decorating your rain barrel with painted images (choose exterior grade paints) to add artistic interest to your yard.

Let's show our neighbors that we really do care about conserving water and install rain barrels this spring!

NOTE: The City of Lincoln Watershed Management Division and the Friends of Pioneers Park Nature Center invite you to view/bid on 25 rain barrels painted by local artists. Learn more about the "Artistic Rain Barrel Program" at