Beaver Water District has been awarded a three-year grant of $229,250 from The Walton Family Foundation. The purpose of the grant is to enhance and accelerate the District’s existing efforts toward the creation of a comprehensive Water Education Center within its Administration Center. The Water Education Center is designed to educate both children and adults about the value of drinking water and stewardship of the watershed as a natural resource.
“When we planned our Administration Center, we incorporated about 650 square feet of space dedicated to education,” said Alan D. Fortenberry P.E., CEO of the District. “This grant will help us realize some needed components for the Center, which is designed to be a regional water education resource. We intend our center to be a recognized destination for business, schools, students, individuals and families. Currently, we host school children and teachers who have utilized lessons from our K-12 Building Blocks to Water Education Program, which we’ve been developing since 2004. We also frequently provide tours to Chamber Leadership Groups, university professors and students, members of the public and others. Our Education Center is already recognized as a connecting point for area water education initiatives. This grant will help us realize the creation of a fully interactive and compelling Center that will tie together regional water concepts and concerns of interest to our region.”
Beaver Water District’s Administration Center, located next to the drinking water treatment plants at 301 N. Primrose Road in Lowell, opened in July of 2009. The building and grounds offer many opportunities for education about drinking water treatment and watershed awareness. The Center, which is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, is certified as a LEED Gold building by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.
“The Walton Family Foundation focuses, in part, on programs in northwest Arkansas that provide solutions to environmental issues impacting our region, with a particular emphasis on water quality. By increasing awareness and education regarding the watershed, we believe Beaver Water District is making a meaningful difference in improved water quality efforts,” said Rob Brothers, the Foundation’s Home Region Program Director.
Beaver Water District supplies drinking water to 300,000 people and industries in Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville and surrounding areas, or one in 10 Arkansans. These cities then resell the water to surrounding towns and communities. The District’s mission is to serve customers in the Benton and Washington County area by providing high quality drinking water that meets or exceeds all federal and state regulatory requirements in such quantities as meets their demands and is economically priced consistent with quality standards. For more information visit the website at: www.bwdh2o.org.