Published June 3, 2014
By Devin Corbitt, News Editor
Water conservation in Bell County got a little bit better on Monday as the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office teamed up with Bell County Master Gardeners and the local 4-H Club to host an educational and pro-active event.
“I had the idea of having a water day, and our Master Gardeners had gotten a grant to do some kind of natural resource conservation something-or-other, so we teamed up to form this big rainwater harvesting system,” Heidi Prude, -, said. “They really wanted to get the ball rolling on getting it set up, but they wanted 4-Hers to be involved in it, and it turned into something educational.”
The event began with representatives from the Bell County Master Gardeners.
“We covered topics like rainwater harvesting, and the Bell County Master Gardeners went through a demonstration of how it works and how theirs is set up,” Prude said. “They talked about how it can save money and all the benefits of it.”
The workshop also featured Todd Strait from the Clearwater Underground Water Conservation District in Belton.
“He hit on how what we put in our soil or what we do with our dish water affects the quality of the water that we drink,” Prude said. “He also hit on some water conservation ideas as well.”
The workshop wrapped up with local 4-H members and the 40 Gallon Challenge.
“We had some 4-Hers that came up with some fun water facts, and they also talked about our ’40 Gallon Challenge,’ which is a pledge that you can take to save water in and outside your home,” Prude said. “It’s easy things like turning off the water when you brush your teeth and cutting your shower down two minutes, only water your lawn twice a week instead of every day, things like that that are easy to do.”
After the presentations, the 4-H members began preparation for landscaping around the Master Gardeners’ rainwater harvesting system.
“They didn’t plant it yesterday because they didn’t have the right amount of soil, but they did lay it out and do all the measuring and figure out how much soil they would need and things like that,” Prude said.
The event drew approximately 30 people.
“We really were hoping to target kids, but we ended up having more of an adult crowd, which is great,” Prude said. “Either way, we were just wanting to have an educational program on water conservation, especially because we use so much water in the summer.”
For more information about the 40 Gallon Challenge, visit 40gallonchallenge.org or stop by the AgriLife Extension Office, 1605 N. Main Street, Suite 102 in Belton. For more about rainwater harvesting, contact the AgriLife Extension Office at (254) 933-5305.