One Chicago public school will be getting a new garden and a new outlook on water this fall. Water industry students and professionals from the Water Environment Federation (WEF) are preparing to return to Chicago for the 12th Annual Community Service Project as part of WEFTEC, the world’s largest annual water quality event. This year’s project will take place at Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy in collaboration with the OPEN Center for the Arts. Volunteers will spend the day transforming the school’s entryway into a beautiful and welcoming green space. The new entryway will provide better stormwater management and add stormwater educational components for the community.
Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy is an excellent citywide magnet school serving 1,000 students from preschoolers to eighth-graders in the heart of the vibrant Little Village neighborhood. Saucedo offers a wide array of programming so that each child can pursue new knowledge and develop their existing passions, including STEM events, athletics, the arts, and more. Saucedo seeks to maximize the options, outcomes, and opportunities for all students and families through excellent academics, strong social-emotional supports, and engaging extracurricular experiences.
Stormwater management is important to the health of the community and the environment. In cities, large amounts of impervious surfaces can lead to flooding and large amounts of runoff that often carry debris, chemicals, bacteria, silt, and other pollutants. Proper stormwater management and implementation of green infrastructure can help to alleviate pollution, flooding, erosion, and other environmental and health issues, providing better spaces for the community.
As part of WEF’s mission to increase public awareness on water related subjects, the SYPC will be hosting the 7th annual “Water Palooza” on Friday, September 20th, which will also be located at the Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy. This event brings together water conscious organizations and companies to educate students about the value of water through hands-on activities. Students at the Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy will become the next generation of water stewards through the two collaborative events.
WEF is a not-for-profit association that provides technical education and training for thousands of water quality professionals who clean water and return it safely to the environment, supporting clean water since 1928. Annually at WEFTEC, members gather for a variety of technical seminars, plant tours, an expansive exhibition hall, operations challenges, and so much more. The WEF Community Service Project is organized by the WEF Students and Young Professionals Committee. Service Project Committee volunteers help design, market, and raise funds and materials for the project.
Thank you to Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy, OPEN Center for the Arts, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, and Chicago Department of Water Management for their help in accomplishing these goals.
*If you'd like to donate to the 2019 Community Service Project, please visit our SYP Site!