DATE: March 18, 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Robert Rudolph, Natural Resources Planning and Management Division
A record 3,686 residents, volunteers and exhibitors came out to celebrate the 11th Annual Water Matters Day event on March 9, at Tree Tops Park, Davie. This year’s theme, “Conserve. Preserve. Protect.” highlighted a shared commitment for water supply preservation, water resources protection and conservation.
Water Matters Day is the County’s premier environmental event, promoting water conservation, environmental stewardship and how to enhance water quality while creating attractive landscapes that are beneficial for native wildlife.
The event featured more than 50 different exhibitors and educational booths with a focus on native and drought tolerant landscaping, water conservation and environmental protection. Participants included state, and local agencies, environmental organizations, schools and private sector businesses, each with a strong water conservation message.
Opening remarks were made by Broward County Mayor Kristin Jacobs and reflected on the importance of community partnerships in support of Water Matters Day and the preservation of the County’s environmental resources.
Mayor Jacobs said she was “extremely pleased to see the large turnout which clearly indicates that the message of Water Matters Day continues to resonate with Broward’s residents and reflects the importance our community places on water conservation and preservation of the environment.”
Others including Broward County Commissioner Tim Ryan, John Beckford from the office of Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness; Glenn Waldman, governing board member of the South Florida Water Management District; and Patricia Good, vice chair with the Broward School District, provided remarks.
Following the opening ceremony, Board Member Good recognized student finalists in the annual Water Matters Day Literary Contest. Mayor Jacobs then recognized recipients of the County’s Emerald Awards in the environmental practices and NatureScape categories, which included the Cities of Lauderhill and Coral Springs, Town of Southwest Ranches, the South Broward Drainage District, and South Plantation High School.
As with previous Water Matters Day celebrations, attendees were required to visit at least 12 booths in order to “earn” native and drought tolerant plants as part of the event’s Native Tree and Plant Giveaway. The giveaway is a Water Matters Day highlight and approximately 3,500 trees, shrubs, groundcovers and wildflowers were distributed by the end of the day.
Workshops held throughout the day provided attendees with hands-on lessons in native plant selection and rain barrel construction and two lucky attendees actually won rain barrels to take home. Other raffle prizes included an irrigation system upgrade provided by Rain Bird. Children enjoyed face painting, a bounce house, various craft activities, and the musical offerings of both local singer-songwriter Grant Livingston and the Nova High School marching band.
The 11th Annual Water Matters Day event was hosted by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners, South Florida Water Management District, the School Board of Broward County, and the Broward Workshop. Co-sponsors for this year’s event included Coconut Creek, Cooper City, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Southwest Ranches; the Central Broward Water Control District, the South Broward Drainage District, and the Old Plantation Water Control District; AECOM; Carollo Engineers; Broward Family Life; Sequoia Innovative Resources; and, Rain Bird.