On Saturday, March 11th, the Water Reclamation Division hosted and delivered the first Girl Scouts Water Education event delivered by the City of Orlando. Sixteen girls took part in this event to learn more about water conservation as well as environmental stewardship and were awarded their very own City of Orlando Fun Patch from the Girl Scouts of Citrus. The Girl Scouts toured the Shingle Creek area, next to the City of Orlando Water Treatment plant, to learn about one of the northern most headwaters of the Florida Everglades. The girls then toured the wastewater treatment plant to see how the City of Orlando’s effectively processes over 14 million gallons of sanitary sewer each day and recycle usable water from the process.
One of the most exciting parts of the water education program was the ability for the Girl Scouts to each interview a Women Professional working at the City of Orlando in a field that deals specifically with water conservation, science or engineering. A total of eight women took time out of their weekends to be a part of the water program and help educate and inspire the young girl scouts. These women are as follows: Athena Tipaldos, Lisa Lotti, Susan Ussach, Eva Wesson, Lisa Rain, Tracy Waguespak, Rachel Kessler and Alyson Furlong.
One of the girls Brianna Durant, was able to complete additional criteria in conjunction with the program to earn her Water Badge, which helps her get one step closer to the prestigious Girl Scout Gold Award. One of the criteria to the Water Badge is passing on to her community the information she learned from this event as well as how she can apply it to her own life. The City of Orlando Water Reclamation Department is happy to help Brianna pass her message out to a broader audience by posting her story here:
Girl Scouts Water Badge
by Brianna Durant
“Have you ever wondered where the water comes from that flows from your showers, faucets and toilets? Me too. Have you ever wondered where the water goes once it is “used” through your shower, faucets or toilets? Me too! That is only one of the many things you will learn in the Ambassador Water Badge Program offered through the City of Orlando’s Waste Water Management Department. My name is Brianna Durant, a Senior from Mt. Dora High School (Lake County), and I recently became the first Ambassador to complete this newly created program. I learned about wastewater and what happens to it once it leaves our homes and businesses. I was able to take a tour of the wastewater treatment facility with Daniel Friedline of the City of Orlando and see first-hand how the wastewater is treated and what happens to it once it is treated. (Hint: You would be surprised!) I learned about storm water and the Florida Aquifer. I learned about the environmental impact that I have individually every day in my community, as well as how much of an impact the City of Orlando has on the rest of the State of Florida. This program offers the knowledge of good habits to keep your personal water use and your community water use within acceptable ranges. I was also shown how the simplest gesture can affect the rest of the community, county, or even the state itself. This program not only taught me how to better my actions towards my community — it also showed me the consequences of my actions, both short-term and long-term. At the end of the program, women career professionals were available for us to speak to and ask any questions. These women have found careers as environmental specialists, engineers, storm water compliance specialists, etc. This was a great opportunity to get first-hand knowledge from someone who is actually working in a science field. This, I believe, was the deciding factor in my opinion to truly support this awesome Girl Scout program. To see women working in something that typically would not be described as a woman’s line of work was inspiring and admirable too. All in all, I would recommend this program to anyone who is interested in keeping our communities, cities, and/or state clean. Thank you to Girl Scouts of Citrus and the City of Orlando for creating such a unique and interesting program for older girls!