Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Drinking Water in the News

Drinking water was in the news again. This time it was an AP story about the quality of drinking water at schools across the U.S. The article found that "contaminants have surfaced at public and private schools in all 50 states — in small towns and inner cities alike." (

It's frustrating to continue to see water's appearance in the news only in a negative way. We see investigations into all sorts of contamination events and occurrences, but there's rarely a mention of the proactive approaches communities across the country are taking to protect their drinking water supplies. It would be refreshing to focus on the positive, which would encourage other communities to adopt practices to preserve drinking water.

What do you think? How can we help publicize the proactive protection efforts communities are undertaking? Is this newsworthy?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Adult Education Webinar

By Jane Griffin, Groundwater Foundation President
Earlier this week I had the opportunity to participate in the webinar entitled “Groundwater Guardian Showcase: Adult Education Programs.” It was both eye-opening and thrilling to know what efforts are going on across the country to educate people about groundwater. Three Groundwater Guardian team representatives presented their efforts to educate adults in their respective communities about groundwater: Janine Reed, Sequim-Dungeness, WA; Gabrielle Belfit, Barnstable County (Cape Cod), MA; and John Paquin, Kalamazoo, MI.

If you didn’t get to participate in the live webinar, you can access the archived version by following this link:

Know that the webinar series is a new service that we are offering in our continued effort to disseminate the information. Your support allows us to continue the work!

We look forward to hearing your comments about the webinars.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Attorney General-Zoo Designation Event

During a ceremony on Friday morning, the Lincoln Children’s Zoo was designated as a Groundwater Guardian Green Site. But the event also served a dual purpose as Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning was on hand to present The Groundwater Foundation with $25,000 towards environmental education programs.

During the course of the event, Attorney General Bruning said, “At the Attorney General’s office, we are big supporters of The Groundwater Foundation. We’re huge fans frankly. We consider part of our mission to protect the environment. Seven years ago when I became Attorney General we created an environment and natural resources unit within the Attorney General’s office. That hadn’t happened before. We are going after polluters….When you go after those folks, and unfortunately they do exist in Nebraska, we have to make it hurt so they won’t do it any again and it’s money. We end up with the money and what is the best thing to do with the money? We think it is to return it to the community through groups like The Groundwater Foundation.”

Lincoln Children’s Zoo President/CEO John Chapo also spoke during the event. He said, “We are a wonderful green space and teaching stewardship to children of all ages is our mission as well. It was important for us to strive for this designation because we do have this beautiful green space in the heart of our community. We appreciate this recognition.”

To hear more of what Attorney General Bruning had to say, some additional remarks from the Zoo’s Chapo as well as some words from Groundwater Foundation President Jane Griffin and Groundwater Foundation Green Site Program Manager Jennifer Wemhoff click on this link:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Upcoming Groundwater Foundation Event at Lincoln Children's Zoo

Attorney General Jon Bruning will present The Groundwater Foundation with $25,000 towards environmental education programs on September 11, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. and we hope you can attend. The ceremony will take place at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo in conjunction with the designation of the Zoo as the newest site in The Groundwater Foundation’s Groundwater Guardian Green Site program.

The money awarded to The Groundwater Foundation was made available through the Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Fund. The fund is comprised of voluntary payments collected in court-approved settlements from entities that have violated state and federal environmental statues and regulations.

The funding will assist programs for adults and youth, such as the Groundwater Guardian Green Site program, which recognizes locations that implement groundwater-friendly practices on their land. The Lincoln Children’s Zoo, which recently earned official designation as a Green Site, will host the check presentation in conjunction with its designation into the program.

Funding from the Attorney General’s Office will also be used for two youth education programs, Water Ways and Awesome Aquifers for Science Olympiad. Water Ways offers hands-on environmental education to young students and establishes a connection to nature. Awesome Aquifers for Science Olympiad is geared towards middle and high school students and offers them the opportunity to participate in an academic competition through an aquifer building activity.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Celebrate 25 years -- Become a Groundwater Foundation Member

2010 will mark The Groundwater Foundation’s 25th Anniversary! Over these past 25 years through our programs we have reached out across the United States and around the world to inspire and educate people about the importance of groundwater. One of the ways we have accomplished this was the creation of the Children’s Groundwater Festival which educated over 36,000 students about groundwater. Also, the Groundwater Guardian program was implemented to support and recognize over 420 communities for voluntary groundwater protection efforts which in turn reached millions of people with a groundwater protection message. This past year 60 sites participated in The Groundwater Green Site program which recognizes good stewards of groundwater by encouraging managers of highly-managed green spaces (golf courses, ball fields, education campuses, parks, etc.) to implement, measure and document their groundwater-friendly practices related to chemical use, water use, pollution prevention, water quality, and environmental stewardship.

It is our goal to continue to educate people and inspire action to ensure clean, plentiful groundwater for future generations. Your help is needed to reach this goal—become a member of The Groundwater Foundation! Watch your mail this month for a membership letter or go online to and become a member today!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Webinar Opportunities

The Groundwater Foundation has begun a series of webinars this fall to help people understand groundwater and the many issues that impact it. As I have been working on topics for these webinars, I realize it would be nice to know what you would like to learn more about.

Topics for this fall include:

September 22, 2009 – Groundwater Guardian Showcase: Adult Groundwater Education

October 27, 2009 – Challenges of Integrated Management of Surface Water and Groundwater

November 24, 2009 – Geology As We Know It…. Or Do We? Discoveries In “Known” Geologic Terrains Using Airborne Geophysics

December 16, 2009 – Communicating the Value of Water

For more information on these webinars, visit The Groundwater Foundation website at

Now, what are the topics that you want to learn more about? Share your ideas with me at We want to hear from you!