When I was a child growing up in rural Nebraska, the Little Blue River meandered through our town. It was more brown (from the mud) than blue. The Little Blue is a sleepy river, except during the occasional rainy season when its banks overflow. A few years ago it wiped out one of the main bridges in town. My dad used to take us kids to the river to swim, and we’d drive back home with our wet, muddy underwear hanging out the car window on sticks. I have great memories of the Little Blue, especially with my dad, siblings, and the neighbor kids.
During Earth Day week, the K-1 class added a blue river to the school entry area. They spent a couple weeks hand painting the small rocks, then formed a river that runs through the well-traveled creosote bush by the sidewalk. Although tempting, we’ve asked students to keep the blue rocks in their places instead of taking them home. Those rocks have an important job. They are a reminder to all of us to conserve our precious desert water.
In addition to painting the rocks, the K-1 students talked in class about water conservation. They brainstormed ways to save water, which are currently posted on the front fence. Here is some of their advice for water conservation:
- don’t overflow the sink
- don’t take long showers
- turn off the faucet when you brush your teeth
- turn off the sink
- take a short shower
- fix water faucets
- take short baths
- don’t pollute the water
- turn off the water
In the days ahead as you come and go from school, please take a few minutes with your child to talk about the Seed’s new blue river. Ask your child if she or he knows why the K-1 class made it and why we need to take care of our Arizona rivers. You can introduce the concept of conservation and brainstorm ways your family can work together to save water. You can also remind your child that the rocks are there to teach an important lesson. The whole point of the Seed’s new blue river is to raise awareness. We invite you to be a part of this important dialogue as we simultaneously support our Earth’s well being and strengthen the stewardship of future planetary citizens.