Pat and Tom Lynch moved to their home on Lake Martin seven years ago, drawn by its beauty and high water quality. They quickly gravitated to Lake Watch of Lake Martin, the volunteer monitor group that has been watching over the lake for the past two decades. They got trained and certified by Alabama Water Watch (AWW) in water quality monitoring, and adopted a site at the Elk’s Lodge, where they’ve been faithfully monitoring for four years.
Wishing to share their love of the lake and spirit of stewardship with others, they became involved in youth education through interactions with local schools. They teamed up with Dick and Mary Ann Bronson, who developed a whole program of environmental education activities for the gifted class at Radney School. The program linked certified and experienced Lake Watch water monitors and Auburn University scientists to the class curriculum, introducing students to in-class and beyond-the-classroom experiences to inspire them about the sciences.
The Lynches spread their stewardship experiences beyond the state borders by inspiring Jessica Blanchard, their granddaughter in St Cloud, Florida to think about water for her 7th grade project for the school science fair. They shared their Radney School experiences with her, and introduced her to Exploring Alabama’s Living Streams, an AMSTI-accredited environmental curriculum developed by AWW. She latched on to Water
Usage and Conservation and ran with it!
Jessica used the Water Use Data Sheet from Module #1 of the Exploring Alabama Living Streams curriculum. First, she determined the baseline water consumption (gallons per month) of her home by examining the monthly water bill. Then she informed her parents and siblings that they all needed to implement the following water conservation techniques (and that she would be keeping score on their efforts!):
- Turn off water when brushing teeth.
- Run the dishwasher only when full.
- When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run – fill one sink with wash water and one with rinse water.
- Time showers to 5 minute maximum.
- For cold drinks, keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap.
- When washing your hands, turn the water off while lathering.
- Wash the car on the lawn to water the lawn at the same time.
Encouraged by strategically-placed signage throughout the house, the family was surprised about their water savings at the end of the month. Jessica created a poster display of the family’s water conservation efforts and presented it in her school’s science fair. Her (and her family’s) efforts won Second Place in the fair, saved 30 gallons of water per day (about 11,000 gallons per year), and saved the household $690/year! Good job, Jessica (and family) – keep up the great work!