Besides supporting worldwide safe water projects and emergency services during water crises, the Louisville Water Foundation often works with other organizations to promote source water protection and education.
For example, the Foundation awarded $25,000 earlier this year to the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest for its Springwell Restoration and Education Project, which will establish a unique site to educate students and the public about the stewardship of water resources.
The project will “serve as a dynamic nature-based education tool and a one-of-a-kind visitor experience for all ages,” said Cadell Walker, Bernheim Director of Advancement.
Bernheim has worked for nearly a century to restore aquatic systems and help everyone understand their importance. These efforts include creek restoration, lake and wetlands creation, and watershed protection.
Bernheim will provide educational experiences around the Springwell Project to engage visitors about water quality and the hydrological significance of the natural spring that feeds the site. Restoration of the spring will provide a first-hand opportunity for visitors to learn about the need to protect both surface and groundwater resources and to see how an area can be restored to natural, functioning wetlands.
Last year, the Louisville Water Foundation supported waterway cleanup projects led by the Kentucky Waterways Alliance, a Louisville-based organization focused on protecting and restoring waterways throughout the Commonwealth.
The Alliance has seen a significant increase in the past few years in the number of organizations requesting information or assistance with waterway cleanup projects. The Foundation granted a request for $10,000 to help the Alliance launch a community engagement program that increased its capacity to support these organizations.
Executive Director Ward G. Wilson said, “Kentucky Waterways Alliance was able to support existing staff and hire new staff in the areas of community engagement and waterways cleanups over the past year partly because of the funding provided by this grant.”
The funding also supported several events, including a Wild & Scenic Film Festival and an Ohio River paddle and Earth Day celebration as well as Saving Our Rivers events with the Louisville Rotary Club.