by Connie Lanphear, communications and program manager
Standing in front a classroom full of second-graders at Linwood Elementary School in St. Paul, Peggy Thomas led them through the story of water in their Summit Hill neighborhood. They listened attentively as she told them about the water cycle and how their community was covered with hard surfaces that did not allow water to soak into the ground. She taught them about storm drains and showed them photos of underground systems that carry polluted water to the river, the source of their drinking water. They got it.
She also told them they could do something to improve the health of that water. And they did. The following spring at nearby Linwood Recreation Center they helped restore a neglected raingarden, revive overgrown terrace gardens, and make art using water from a rain barrel and sediment from the Mississippi River. Their hands-on work made a deep impression on them and reconnected the center with its community.
Peggy’s road to the classroom started with her involvement in the Master Water Stewards program, developed by Freshwater to equip citizens with the knowledge and skills needed to help improve our water at the grassroots level.
Applications are now being accepted for the next cohort of Master Water Stewards. Deadline, September 30, 2018. For information, visit masterwaterstewards.org or contact Deirdre Coleman, email@example.com or 651.313.5806.