By Fran Agnone, PS 110 Sustainability Coach
Where does our drinking water come from? Where does it go when it swirls down the drain or into our street sewers? These were the foundational questions a group of 4th and 5th graders explored in PS 110’s Eco-Schools Green STEM Afterschool Program at PS 110, The Monitor School.
When the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the NYC agency that provides New Yorkers with safe drinking water and cleans our wastewater, held a contest for students to share art and poetry that celebrate water as a precious resource, we jumped at the chance.
Below is a selection of submissions and a few words from the students themselves:
Submission: Beatrice Chalkley
Why is water so important?
Sirran Blatt: Because it helps us stay alive. And we use it for our needs.
Beatrice Chalkley: It keeps us healthy, and if we have it, we can live. Animals and plants also need water and they would all die without it.
Julia Suchcicka: It gives us something to drink.
Jacci Huero: We need it to survive and if the water isn’t clean then anyone who loves seafood or animals that live in water like fish, dolphins, and sharks will be upset because they might go extinct.
Laura Ellison-Mroz: Because it helps many animals such as grey squirrels.
Jackelin Velazquez: It helps many living things for example plants, humans, other animals. It also fills our oceans and lakes. And we can take a shower in it!
Submission: Jacci Huero
What can we do to take care of our Earth’s water?
Sirran Blatt: We can take care of our water by not littering. We could also try to have less boats in the water so they will be less likely to spill oil.
Beatrice Chalkley: We can be more mindful when we use it and not use too much.
Julia Suchcicka: If we put our trash in the water the fish will die.
Jacci Huero: We can stop littering!
Laura Ellison-Mroz: We could take showers less. And if it’s yellow let it mellow. So when it’s pee we don’t flush.
Jackelin Velazquez: Or if you’re really brave, you could not flush when it’s poop.
Submission: Sirran Blatt
What is your favorite activity in or with water?
Laura Ellison-Mroz: I also like to drink it with ice cubes.
Jackelin Velazquez: And living! I like to live with water.
New York City uses almost a billion gallons of water a day to meet its needs. The water goes through an impressive series of upstate reservoirs and 3 massive aqueducts. Once we are done brushing our teeth, flushing the toilet, or quenching our thirst, we send our wastewater to 14 treatment plants throughout New York City to be cleaned and returned to our local waterways.
How can you take care of our Earth’s water? Maybe ask a young person to find inspiration!