By Staff Reports
(Apple Valley)– Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company’s (Ranchos) third annual Spring Conservation Fair brought together over 300 community members and leaders to learn about water conservation and the value of water as a precious resource while having fun. Attendance at this year’s event included attendants from as far away as Barstow and Newberry Springs, who expressed that the education acquired here was well-worth the ride.
This year’s fair was again held at Lyon’s Park and participants took part in conservation gardening workshops, landscaping and irrigation workshops and presentations on understanding water quality, how to install low-flow toilets, the proper disposal of pharmaceuticals, how to read a water meter, and pool safety.
While the High Desert climate and Apple Valley’s “Better Way of Life” make it a perfect place for raising children or retiring, drought can have a significant impact on the region’s water supply. “Conservation is necessary and is not just about saving water from the shower to use for watering plants, it’s about learning how to use high-desert resources, such as rocks, sand, and desert adaptive and drought-tolerant plants to create appealing landscaping,” said Apple Valley Ranchos Assistant General Manager Tony Penna.
The Apple Valley Ranchos Spring Conservation Fair brought awareness to the value of water and the complexity of managing the water distribution system. As an example, participants learned that Ranchos must invest in infrastructure; groundwater wells, maintenance, and upgrades to ensure the water supply is safe and reliable.
“The conservation fair is one way of encouraging residents to appreciate the value of water, a limited, life-essential resource,” noted Daylyn Presley, Ranchos Public Information Officer. “It’s a cost-effective way to educate a lot of people at one time and a great venue for talking about the conservation and infrastructure issues facing the industry.”
Attendants also enjoyed the water conservation demonstration garden, vendor and food booths, raffle prizes, and welcome bags all while the children participated in a number of games and activities.
The annual Spring Conservation Fair is one of many ways that Ranchos’ connects with and educates residents on water quality and water conservation.
In addition to educating residents about conservation, Ranchos conducts water audits and assists residents with the Mojave Water Agency’s Cash for Grass program, which pays residents to transform lawns to desert-friendly, drought-tolerant landscaping or artificial turf. This program culminates in the People’s Choice Awards, which are presented at the conservation fair where attendees vote on the entries.
“This Spring Conservation Fair couldn’t have happened without the community and many business partners and sponsors. This is a true community collaboration to celebrate desert landscaping and conservation. It’s also a way for vendors to gain visibility, elevate their brand equity and be seen as leaders in the green movement,” explained Ranchos Water Conservation Representative Norma Armenta. “By immersing residents in an environment that is all about conservation and making it fun and inviting, they are likely to invite their neighbors next year. Word-of-mouth can be a powerful and cost-effective communication vehicle,” added Armenta.