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Water Sustainability Tour

Bay Area Green Tours Unveils Its First Water Sustainability Tour with Skyline High School ~Article and photos republished from Bay Area Green Tours

Exploring Strawberry CreekExploring Strawberry CreekWater will soon surpass oil in public importance and value. It's hard to imagine anything similar - we need it absolutely, yet constantly take it for granted. It is strikingly local, but we must broaden our perspective to effect any systemic changes.

What would happen if we ran out of fresh water? Economics is not synonymous with life, and unfortunately, we may be witnessing the evidence of a world water crisis that will only become more acute. From pollution of the oceans to contamination of precious drinking sources, we are all affected.

BAGT has teamed up with Elizabeth Dougherty, Phd, Executive Director of the nonprofit Wholly H2O, and has developed its Water Sustainability tour to help educate people on how to better manage and conserve water, from both a personal and a global sustainability perspective.

Sophia and Leja of Skyline's Green AcademySophia and Leja of Skyline's Green Academy Rachel and Kharima of Skyline's Green AcademyRachel and Kharima of Skyline's Green Academy 

Our first Water Sustainability Tour was led by Elizabeth Dougherty who shared her extensive knowledge of water issues and passionate dedication to conserving it with the Skyline High School's Green Academy led by Tracey Ostrom.

The day began with a walk along UC Berkeley's Strawberry Creek, where environmental scientist Tim Pine, [Supervisor for the Restoration Program / Department of Environmental Health and Safety at Cal], and his assistant Nathan Bickart, [Student Restoration Coordinator], detailed their work on creek and natural habitat restoration.

Actually being at a riparian setting to learn about our small streams and just experiencing the beautiful setting was an ideal start. To add authenticity - we had it rain! Although at times we had to contend with wet weather over the course of the day, it served to reinforce water as the theme of the tour.

The students learned quick, simple changes they could make at home to help curb water and energy usage from the Rising Sun Energy Center staff and found out about their summer job program.

Rising Sun Energy Center leads a unique youth empowerment and conservation program throughout over 10 cities in the Bay Area. Students also explored alternative landscaping methods through rainwater harvesting at the Urban Farmer Store in Richmond.

The final stop provided a look at a water reuse demonstration project - a tour led by Beck Cowles (Ecology Center, Berkeley) of the Berkeley EcoHouse, which boasts the first city-approved greywater installation.

BAGT's goal is to expand upon this first tour so that high school students (and other groups) from the bay area can experience the vital education presented through a factual and fun-filled Water Sustainability Tour.