Broward Residents Flock to 12th Annual Broward Water Matters Day to Celebrate "Water - Our Greatest Resource"
  
  

City of Oakland Park representatives Tim Lonergan, Amy Flaherty and Charles Livio pose with their Emerald Award.

City of Oakland Park representatives Tim Lonergan, Amy Flaherty and Charles Livio pose with their Emerald Award.

Nearly 4,000 residents attended Water Matters Day at Tree Tops Park in Davie.

Nearly 4,000 residents attended Water Matters Day at Tree Tops Park in Davie.

DATE: March 14, 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: Rudy Rudloph
Broward County Natural Resources Planning and Management Division
PHONE: 954-519-0328
EMAIL:
rrudolph@broward.org 

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. -  Whether it was a hunger for knowledge about how to be a better environmental steward or just a hunger for food from one of the 20 food trucks on hand at Tree Tops Park in Davie on Saturday March 8, a record 3,973 residents, volunteers and exhibitors enjoyed picture perfect weather as they celebrated the 12th Annual Water Matters Day. This year’s theme, “Water-Our Greatest Resource,” highlighted a shared commitment for protecting, preserving and conserving our water resources. Water Matters Day is Broward 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.

This year’s event included the participation of more than 40 different exhibitors and a broad range of 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, all with a strong water conservation message.

Attendees were welcomed by Broward County Commissioners Martin David Kiar and Dale V.C. Holness who opened the celebration and reflected on the importance of community partnerships in support of Water Matters Day, the success we have had in reducing our water demands and the preservation of the County’s environmental resources. Opening remarks were also provided by Governing Board Member Glenn Waldman of the South Florida Water Management District. Broward School Board Chair Patricia Good and School Board Member Nora Rupert recognized student finalists and their teachers in the annual Water Matters Day Literary Contest. Following this, Commissioners Kiar and Holness presented Emerald Awards in four NatureScape categories. Winners included the City of Oakland Park (Government/municipal category), PNC Branch Bank at Davie and Andrews (Business category), three homeowners and two Special Achievement awards.

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, which are available as part of the event’s Native Tree and Plant Giveaway. The giveaway is a Water Matters Day highlight and approximately 3,000 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. Kids enjoyed face painting, a children’s recycled art village, various craft activities and the musical offerings of the Nova High School marching band. New this year was the addition of 20 food trucks serving up a variety of gastronomical treats as part of the Food Truck Invasion.

Dr. Jennifer Jurado, director of Broward County’s Natural Resources Planning and Management Division, remarked that “It is extremely rewarding to see the large turnout which clearly indicates that the message of Water Matters Day continues to resonate with Broward’s residents and demonstrates their commitment to seek information on ways to conserve and protect our water resources through personal practices.”

The 12th 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 the Cities of Fort Lauderdale, Coconut Creek, Cooper City, Hollywood; the Towns of Davie and Southwest Ranches; the Central Broward Water Control District, the South Broward Drainage District, and the Old Plantation Water Control District; Broward Family Life; and RainBird.
 
 
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