Islands' Sounder


Kids learn about rainwater

January 22, 2014 · Updated 4:28 PM

Craig Sanders with some of the students. / Contributed photo

by Madie Murray

Farm to Cafeteria

Students in our K-6 Farm to Classroom project had two visitors last week: Ken Blair with RainBank LLC who enthusiastically related facts about rainwater and the importance of conservation and catchment and Craig Sanders with Island Irrigation on Orcas Island.

They gave demos of water pressure per square inch and showed how the new school garden irrigation system he recently installed will work.

Blair recently returned from a two-week trip to Sierra Leone, Africa where he taught villagers how to make rainwater catchment tanks.  Now they will have an endless supply of fresh, clean water because they receive more than 90 inches of rain a year. The kids were awed by the fact that the women would no longer have to carry five-gallon buckets of water on their heads 10 miles for their daily water supply. They were also surprised to learn how much water it takes to water a lawn or take a bath, where that water comes from and how important it is to conserve. Blair also explained how the catchment tank at the school works and how it will catch and disseminate water to our school garden.

Sanders, in a very fun way, demonstrated how PSI works by filling a balloon from a pump.  He also took the kids into the garden to show them how the pump knew when to shut on and off, how the five watering zones in the garden are managed, and how drip systems can save water and use water most efficiently.  Craig and Ken both talked about how little fresh water there is available on Earth and how important it is to save it and use it wisely.

It was amazing to see how much the kids already knew but were anxious to learn more. By the end of the day, our Farm to Classroom kids might think a little harder when they drink from a fountain or brush their teeth, and learn that our garden veggies will be watered by the heavens.

Our heartfelt thanks to Ken and Craig for spending the whole day with our Farm to Classroom kids.  It was a very fun and fact-filled day.


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