Water-Related News

SWFWMD “Splash! Grants” bring water education to students

The Splash! school grant program provides up to $3,000* per school to enhance student knowledge of freshwater resources issues. Public and charter school teachers of grades K-12 are eligible to apply. 

As the school year comes to a close, so does another successful season of the District’s Splash! school grant program. This year the District awarded 65 Splash! grants to K-12 educators to help enhance and support water education activities. In total the grants engaged more than 20,000 students and adults.

For many educators, the Splash! grant program enables them to give students hands-on experiences that otherwise would not occur. This may include a field study at a local waterway, building and maintaining a water-conserving garden, conducting a water conservation outreach campaign and more.

In providing feedback on this year’s grant, one teacher at South Sumter Middle School stressed the importance of receiving grant funds.

“The Splash! grant is an integral part of my curricular goals each year since other funding is unavailable. It is only through programs like Splash! that I can dedicate the time and effort to educate our students on ways to protect and conserve water resources in our state.”

Applications for the 2019-2020 school year will be available in July and are due August 31, 2019. No exceptions will be made.

The District is grateful to be able to provide support to educators through the Splash! grant program, helping to inform and inspire our future decision makers and leaders. To learn more about the Splash! grant program click here.

*Grants are awarded based on available funding.

Polk County to open some Parks and Venues on May 1st

BARTOW — Numerous Polk County parks, trails, campgrounds and community center computer labs will reopen on Friday, May 1. The Board of County Commissioners has announced their plan to gradually open venues where social distancing and professional sanitation practices can be maintained.

“The Board is pleased to once again provide recreational opportunities for our residents and guests who are anxious to use our great facilities,” said Board Chairman Bill Braswell. “We highly encourage residents to follow the president and governor’s guidelines for social distancing and show respect for your neighbors by keeping our venues clean while you enjoy Polk’s beautiful assets.”

Circle B Bar Reserve and the Saddle Creek Gun range will remain closed until 8 a.m., Friday, May 8. Ball fields are also closed to all organized activities.

Lakeland to open parks, trails, boat ramps beginning May 1st

LAKELAND – The Lakeland City Commission voted 7-0 in a specially called City Commission meeting to open passive recreation facilities including parks, dog parks, trails, and boat ramps starting May 1st. Tennis courts and Cleveland Heights Golf Course will also open, following safety protocols. Bob Donahay, Director of Parks & Recreation said, “Both the PGA and USTA have published a set of safety protocols for social distancing and we will make sure we follow their guidelines as we get facilities ready for operation and a May 1st opening.”

City Manager Tony Delgado said, “We do have some concern with playgrounds and manned facilities like our libraries and recreation centers at this time. Staff has been meeting on a regular basis and we have come up with a game plan to get passive areas open to the public with the goal to get facilities open as quickly as possible.” He added, “Recreation Centers and playgrounds will remain closed until further notice but could be part of a phase-two opening in the near future as long as we meet Federal and State safety requirements.”