The American Water Charitable Foundation, an NGO, created by American Water has provided four grants to endorse nature-based play spaces in American Water’s nationwide service areas.
The grants are being directed as part of the partnership of Foundation with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), for the Building Better Communities signature program.
The Building Better Communities charity initiative to promote the quality of life in the communities, focusing on parks, as they are precarious to preserving natural resources.
Specifically, the program aims on enhancing nature-based playgrounds and spaces for children that will educate people on environmental and water related stewardship practices.
Four projects, qualified from American Water’s national service area will receive grants totaling more than $380,000.
The projects were chosen based on factors like play value, education value, proximity to American Water’s service areas, relevance of the project to the RFP project parameters, use of natural play materials, opportunities for American Water employee volunteer involvement and construction of actual children’s play area.
The City of Belleville, will receive $109,000 to fund a nature-themed play area within the Bellevue Park.
The Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority in Scranton will receive $150,000 to build a park and playground along the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail. The installing equipment will be nature-based as well as environmentally friendly.
The Pleasant Valley Recreation and Park District in Camarillo will receive $75,000 for the Camarillo Grove Park, an urban park for children to learn about nature. This is the only nature-based park in the area and outdoor education and environmental awareness will be promoted by authorities.
The Brunswick Redevelopment and Revitalization Committee in Brunswick will receive $50,000 to expand the existing Brunswick Downtown Courtyard’s water management area to develop natural play spaces and a venue for environmental education events.
In 2012, with funding from Missouri American Water, it was built to promote water conservation through the use of rain gardens, rain barrels, downspouts and gutters. Its success, lead to enlarging the area to include play features, first-hand interaction features and an educational event venue.
Parks are essential in conserving natural resources, but among children, it is interactions that create a responsibility sense and appreciation for nature, said, Barbara Tulipane, President, CEO, NRPA.
These four organizations were selected because they are focused on nurturing a sense of appreciation for the environment that benefits the communities, said, Debra Vernon, manager, corporate responsibility, president, American Water Charitable Foundation.
The Building Better Communities program supports American Water’s principal values of community stewardship and environmental sustainability, lining up with areas of prominence to the company’s employees, including child welfare and education.