Agua es Vida
HANDS ON SUMMER
Five students from Rio Grande High School in Albuquerque worked for six weeks this summer learning about water conservation and habitat creation through classroom and hands on construction projects at six sites. In this paid internship under the guidance of Maceo Martinet with US Fish & Wildlife, and John Wright with the Querencia Institute they worked at:
- Constructing rainwater harvesting for wildlife habitat in East Mountains near Albuquerque
- Constructing pollinator habitat at the library in Embudo, New Mexico
- Constructing pollinator habitats at two organic farms and an urban community garden in Albuquerque
- Restoring grassland habitat in Taos, New Mexico
- Restoring native riparian habitat in Cochiti, New Mexico
The Querencia Institute and The New Mexico Water Collaborative partnered in support of the Agua es Vida Leadership Training Program at Rio Grande High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
This program was born out of the Querencia Institute’s observation that a more formally established water conservation program was needed for youth where students could earn school credit.
This conservation project educates youth to become leaders in water conservation, and to increase water conservation efforts in our community. Working with a committee of conservation activists, educators and professionals to develop a dynamic youth training program focused on classroom work combined with hands-on community based projects.
The program goals include:
- Develop leadership skills of communication and organization.
- Research various areas of water conservation and water quality including domestic use, agriculture, mining, industry, military, environmental uses, recreation, and oil and gas development.
- Research cultural and traditional uses of water.
- Student presentations.
- Implementation of water harvesting technology.
- Educational outreach activities including various field training exercises.
This project was made possible with the instruction and support of John Wright of the Querencia Institute and Toyota Together Green by Audubon, and fiscal sponsorship from The New Mexico Water Collaborative.
“The most important aspect of this program was that the youth were able to experience different places, people, and ideas related to water conservation, wildlife habitat, and other environmental issues. Experiences like this help challenge students to build their self-confidence, little by little, in who they are and what they are capable of achieving for our local community.”
Maceo Martinet, Ecologist & Educator, US Fish & Wildlife