For Immediate Release
January 25, 2021
Contact: Melanie Mow Schumacher, Special Projects-Communications Manager
Phone: 831-475-8501 x153
Soquel Creek Water District Helps Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery
Create Environmental Education/Water Conservation “Eco Home” Interactive Exhibit
Soquel, CA (January 25, 2021) – Among the core values of the Soquel Creek Water District are Environmental Stewardship and Collaboration. Both of these values are highlighted in the District’s enthusiastic partnership and award of a grant to support the Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery’s (MOD) “Eco Home” interactive exhibit. Construction of this remarkable, creative, and fun project got underway at the museum in mid-2019. With periodic work continuing during the pandemic, the project is now complete.
The District, the MOD staff, and the adults and children that live and play within our coastal communities are all looking forward to the post-pandemic day when they can all come experience the Eco Home together.
The Eco Home is a three-wall miniature house (15’ x 15’) designed to demonstrate sustainable living concepts to kids and their parents or caregivers, with an emphasis on water conservation. The MOD applied for and was awarded a $2,000 Water Education Promotion Mini-Grant from the District, to help with the cost of creating the Eco Home. This grant program supports local water-related educational events and programs which have a major theme or activity promoting water education and conservation, drinking water quality, and/or local water supply issues.
The Eco Home meets those criteria in a big way, by helping empower children to be part of the solution to the problems of water management, climate change, and degradation of the environment. The key water-related features of the Eco Home include:
Interpretive materials with ideas such as “Five Ways to Save Water in Our Homes” and “Ten Ways You Can Make Your Landscape More Sustainable”
An interactive rainwater catchment system with a “rain cloud,” rain barrel, and rain gutters to introduce the concept of reusing rainwater to decrease the use of groundwater and reducing flow into storm sewers and water treatment systems
An interactive, child-sized clothes washer and dryer illustrating sustainable laundry practices including elements of a gray water system directed outside the Eco Home to “water” a redwood tree in the exhibit’s “yard”
An interactive planter box using wooden fruits and vegetables where children can learn the benefits of using compost and recycled water in agriculture
In addition to those at-home water conservation education components, the Eco Home includes other fun, interactive elements illustrating solar energy, composting, recycling, and other sustainability concepts.
“The first day of construction was like an old-fashioned barn-raising,” said Rhiannon Crain, MOD’s Interim Executive Director. “We had MOD staff, District and other project partners, and volunteers all putting in a wonderful team effort to raise the roof of this new interactive tool for educating families about water and sustainability issues. We’re very excited for the day in the not-too-distant future when we will be able to bring families back into MOD to experience this wonderful new resource!”
The District has been actively involved with this project from the start, with its staff attending planning meetings, helping to connect the MOD staff with other companies for additional funding and assistance, and providing some technical support.
“The valued partnership between the District and MOD has produced a productive and meaningful way to help families understand the value of water and water conservation,” said Ron Duncan, General Manager of the Soquel Creek Water District. “We’re proud to have been able to provide some funding as well as some staff time to help create the Eco Home. Once we can all join together again after the pandemic, this is sure to be very popular and an important way of spotlighting what we can do to protect and preserve our water supply.”
The environmental education/water conservation Eco Home interactive exhibit was created through a partnership led by the Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery, and including Soquel Creek Water District, Loves Gardens, the City of Santa Cruz, Knox Roofing, Green Space, San Lorenzo Lumber, Allterra Solar, Big Creek Lumber, Mission Tile, Habitat ReStore, and all the wonderful community volunteers who put in countless hours.
About the Santa Cruz Museum of Discovery
The MOD team works to serve our community better each and every day by providing exceptional programming and learning opportunities through hands-on manipulative experiences geared to a variety of interest levels and learning styles, showcasing special exhibits on a rotating basis, utilizing state-of-the-art learning theories and research to provide high-quality exhibits, and featuring exhibits that incorporate tiered learning to engage and involve children and those who accompany them. The MOD website is www.sccmod.org.
About Soquel Creek Water District
The Soquel Creek Water District is a nonprofit, local government agency that provides water resource management within its service area to deliver a safe and reliable supply of high-quality water to meet present and future needs in an environmentally sensitive and economically responsible way. The District’s website is www.soquelcreekwater.org.