MANSFIELD—Despite the recent inclement weather, Spring has taken hold in North Texas. As the seasons change Mansfield and Cedar Hill have reaffirmed their commitment to greener living and conservation practices. In fact, the City of Mansfield as of late, has two reasons to tout their environmental prowess.
The Texas Water Conservation Advisory Council’s 2017 Blue Legacy Award was recently given to the Mansfield Water Utilities Division. The City of Mansfield topped the municipality category for cities with populations between 50,001 and 100,000.
As the retail water supplier for over 60,000 residents, the City of Mansfield’s innovative campaign found success in its efforts to raise awareness about water conservation. Information was widely spread through their online website (www.mansfieldtexas.gov/water-conservation).
The site contains a myriad of conservation attractions including engaging content, linking water issues to trending topics and building relationships with unorthodox partners.
When the 2011 drought eased, their successful water conservation message underwent a progression into a value of water message focusing on using water efficiently. The outreach campaign sought to inform the public about infrastructure maintenance, water treatment, the source of their water and the employees that make it all possible.
There was also a video campaign for students on National STEM Day highlighting how science, technology, engineering and math occur daily in water utility activities. Creative slogans linked to popular culture and social media messaging expanded the audience further and helped the city achieve their water conservation public awareness goals.
The Council celebrates innovators who champion the preservation of the state’s most precious resource–water. By presenting the Blue Legacy Awards, Water Conservation Advisory Council recognizes and encourages outstanding water conservation efforts of Texans. The seven winners were honored during Texas Water Day at the Capitol, hosted by the Texas Water Foundation on March 22.
Mansfield Independent School District Wins Texas Environmental Excellence Award
The Mansfield Independent School District also won an award, a Texas Environmental Excellence Award in the innovative operations/management category. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Commissioners and Governor Greg Abbott determines yearly honorees.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality sang high praise for Mansfield ISD.
“You might think that immense capital investments would be needed to drastically reduce utility expenses across an entire school district. While those kinds of improvements are flashy and effective, for one North Texas school district, it was a shift in mindset and behavior that enabled them to save millions of dollars.”
In 2012, Mansfield ISD began an energy conservation program with three primary goals: reduce the environmental impact of school district operations; reduce overall utility expenditures by 20 percent; and educate students, teachers, and community members about their roles in implementing efficient practices.
According to the report, these efforts were enough to reduce expenses and save the district nearly $7 million.
Another important aspect of the program is the connection that energy specialists make with the district’s staff and students. On any given day, you can see the energy specialists walking through the halls on one of their 2,500-plus yearly building audits, high-fiving students and commending teachers for their efforts to reduce energy use.
The report continues, “The program created significant reductions in utility expenses. Since inception, the district has saved 40 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, 20,599 thousand cubic feet of natural gas, and over 450 million gallons of water. This district-wide program shows that when everyone works together significant environmental and economic benefits can be attained.”
Cedar Hill Holds Annual Earth and Arbor Day Celebration April 24
Cedar Hill is also showing their concerns for the environment by holding Earth Fest 2017. Event organizers invite residents and visitors to ‘Learn Why Green Grows Naturally in Cedar Hill.’
The annual Earth and Arbor Day celebration takes place Monday, April 24 from 5-7:30 p.m. The Cedar Hill Government Center, 285 Uptown Boulevard, will play host to this free event.
Interactive, family friendly activities will include a number of environmentally conscious vendors. There will be live music and Streakin’ Ricans empanadas. Live performances by Lucas Miller, the singing zoologist; and Newman International Academy choir are sure to entertain. There will be displays of work by local artisans like Honey Hush.
Also participating in Cedar Hill’s Earth Fest 2017 will be Backyard Wildlife Resource Center. They will bring animals from “the great outdoors” to allow those attending to “get up close and personal with nature.”
Free t-shirts will be available for attendees until supplies run out. Last year’s event saw over 500 people, and even more are to attend this year.