Local Residents Go Green with Water Conservation Program
Stacie Sneider (left) and Shawn Hulsizer created the Water Awareness and Responsibility Program to educate water users and promote conservation.
Article and photo by Carin Kirkegaard
If green is the new black, then Castle Pines North (CPN) residents Shawn Hulsizer and Stacie Sneider are definitely in vogue. Hulsizer and Sneider are the co-owners of the Water Awareness and Responsibility Program (WARP). The purpose of WARP is to educate water users and instill a sense of responsibility in each person when a faucet is turned on.
Both Hulsizer and Sneider discovered their passion for water responsibility nearly one year ago. While educating themselves on the water needs of CPN, they discovered an answer to one question just led them to another question. Through their quest for answers they discovered the vulnerability of the City’s water supply and how little the average water user really knows about the need for responsibility when utilizing this resource. “You can’t protect something you don’t understand,” said Hulsizer.
They both recognized a need for more awareness. As a veteran for bringing education to community through schools, Sneider immediately came up with a business model similar to her creation of the Douglas County fun run the Rock Slide, where the community was engaged in healthy living practices by supporting the youth in their schools. Sneider envisioned a similar response with WARP.
Hulsizer and Sneider partnered with the Castle Pines North Metropolitan District (CPNMD) and kicked off their WARP program on Earth Day 2008. The local schools held assemblies and contests that helped to bring education and responsibility to the community of CPN. “You’ll never forget the day your fourth grader comes home thrilled to have a toilet test kit in hand!” said Mark Shively, CPN resident and executive director of the Douglas County Water Resource Authority (DCWRA).
The WARP idea is to work in collaboration with a community’s local area schools, governing officials and local water providers to create an ongoing tailored water education and responsibility program that will work specific to a particular area’s needs.
Currently, WARP is working in conjunction with Douglas County. Other states have also shown interest in bringing WARP to their communities.
“Our goal is to build future leaders who have a solid understanding of how important water and conservation are to the communities in which we live,” said Sneider.
Rock Canyon participates in DCWRA ambassador program
The success of the WARP launch caught the eye of DCWRA and talks began to bring WARP to all of Douglas County.
In 2009, the DCWRA, Douglas County government, the Douglas County School District and WARP are rolling out the DCWRA High School Ambassador Program to Douglas County high schools.
WARP will be at Rock Canyon this April to introduce the Ambassador Program. All students are eligible to participate. The program’s focus will be educating high school students on Colorado’s water heritage, the origins of Colorado water, Douglas County local water availability, trends and protection, water ethics, stewardship, and conservation. According to Sneider, these high school students will in turn become “water ambassadors” and take their knowledge back to the fourth graders in the elementary schools of the Rock Canyon area.
“Not only are high school students the best ambassadors to help fourth grade children grow up with an appreciation of just how precious water resources are, but these school age children are the best ambassadors to raise awareness amongst their parents,” said Shively.
Funding for the DCWRA High School Ambassador Program is provided by 19 establishing members of the DCWRA, which includes municipalities and water providers in the region, one of which is the CPN Metro District. For additional information on the DCWRA please visit the website www.dcwater.org. High school students interested in becoming a water ambassador can contact Stacie Sneider for more information at Contact by e-mail .