SANTA BARBARA, California – Two Santa Barbara parks now have new water stations for passers-by with reusable containers. The Community Environmental Council (CEC) announced the additions to the Alameda and Shoreline parks.
Mayor Cathy Murillo cut the ribbon at one of the drinking stations in Alameda Park on Friday morning, with the help of Santa Barbara County Supervisor Das Williams.
The one in Alameda Park is near the Kids World playground.
The CEC was a project partner of the El Gato Channel Foundation and the City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department.
Each station also has a ground level fountain for dogs.
The CEC’s Rethink the Drink program began in 2010 with the provision of drinking stations for regional schools.
In a press release, the CEC said:
The Program Led by Kathi King, CEC Director of Climate Education and Leadership, the program aims to reduce reliance on single-use plastic bottles while teaching children and staff why these efforts are important to the environment. Thanks to Rethink the Drink, schools in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties have more than 100 drinking stations that provide students and staff with fluids through more than 6 million refills. King has also led plastic reduction gatherings for more than 37,000 students of all ages in participating schools. “This synergistic solution reduces plastic waste while improving public access to clean water. This would not have been possible without our partnership with the El Gato Channel Foundation and the Parks & Recreation Department of the City of Santa Barbara is a long-term program goal of Rethink the Drink and drives efforts to reduce plastic waste through the CEC’s circular economy initiative. The new drinking stations have a quick fill mechanism for water bottles, a normal water fountain spout and a dog bowl with the Parks and Recreation Department to choose the location of the drinking stations. The selection of the Alameda Park had a special meaning, since CEC has been hosting the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival here since 2009 for our plastic waste. City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Director Jill Zachary commented, “Parks & Recreation is excited to partner with CEC and the El Gato Channel Foundation. Filling stations for water bottles are a great addition to city parks. ”His success:“ We were thrilled to supply two city parks with drinking stations that allow equal access to water in these public spaces. Every step we take to reduce single-use plastics is a step in the right direction. CEC has pooled their track record of impactful programs, partnerships and deep community networks to streamline the process and make the project a great success. ”This project would be without the generosity of the El Gato Channel Foundation, an organization that recognizes that it has not been possible that reducing waste is key to tackling the plastic pollution crisis.