Wednesday, December 28, 2016

It's Water-Wise Wednesday with Frannie the Fish {Moving to a new location!}

Hi guys! 
Water-Wise Wednesdays with Frannie the Fish has moved to a new location!

Check out her New Year's Resolutions here and keep visiting The Groundwater Foundation's blog for more of Frannie and her new friends!

Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

It's Water-Wise Wednesday with Frannie the Fish! {Moving to a new location!}

Hi guys! 
Water-Wise Wednesdays with Frannie the Fish has moved to a new location!

Check out what she's made here and keep visiting The Groundwater Foundation's blog for more of Frannie and her new friends!

Frannie wishes you a fun and safe holiday season!   

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

It's Water-Wise Wednesday with Frannie the Fish {The Groundwater Foundation's Tools and Resources}

Are you a... 
  • Girl Scout
  • Future Farmer of America member
  • Family, Career and Community Leaders of America member
  • or just looking for a way to get involved locally with groundwater conservation and protection?
Look no further than The Groundwater Foundation's downloadable tools and resources.

Whether you are looking to get involved in teaching younger students about groundwater, learning about pharmaceuticals and personal care products in water, or holding a public awareness campaign, The Groundwater Foundation's tools and resources has you covered!

The tools and resources featured are ready-to-go and include the needed materials (i.e. PowerPoint presentations, fact sheets, hand-outs, etc.).

Frannie is going to use the Training About Protecting the Source Manual to teach the younger fish at her school how to protect their drinking water source. The hands-on activities in the manual use The Groundwater Foundation's Awesome Aquifer Kit to demonstrate potential sources of groundwater contamination, like improperly abandoned wells, over-applied fertilizer, leaking underground storage tanks, and improperly operated landfills.

Be sure to check out the rest of The Groundwater Foundation's website for other cool ideas of how you can get involved with water conservation and protection!

Share with The Groundwater Foundation how you will utilize these tools and resources in your community!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

It's Water-Wise Wednesdays with Frannie the Fish {Giving Thanks for Groundwater}

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, Frannie wants to give thanks to all the folks that work hard to protect and conserve groundwater and surface water. Frannie decided to make thank you cards to send to a few of these organizations in her local community, including:

You can do the same too! Find out what agencies and organizations work year round in your local area to protect water and make them thank you cards! Find local environmental agencies by state here.

Here's what you need:
  • Construction paper
  • Markers, crayons, colored pencils, paint, etc.
  • Envelopes
  • Stamps

Here's what you do:
1. Fold your paper in half to make a card.

2. Frannie made a turkey on the cover of her card, get as creative as you want with your thank you cards!

3. Write a personal thank you note on the inside.

4. Mail the thank you letter.

Frannie wishes you a happy Thanksgiving!

Important dates 
The Groundwater Foundation's holiday shop information
Order fulfillment and shipping will not be available during the following dates:
  • November 22 - 27, 2016
  • December 22, 2016 - January 3, 2017

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

It's Water-Wise Wednesday with Frannie the Fish {You be the Judge}

This week Frannie wants to share a fun activity that you can do with your class or with your extracurricular group! This activity, called "You be the Judge," is all about problem solving skills and water management.

Every day we make decisions - on what to wear, what to eat, etc. Many of the decisions we make each day have an impact on the environment, for example - using a reusable bag or a disposable one, taking a short shower or a long one. 

Water resource managers and community leaders also make decisions each day. Should water use be restricted? Should a certain amount of water be allocated to certain people or to everyone? In this activity, you will be provided scenarios and you get to decide who should get the water. You be the judge!

Here's what you need:
  • Pitcher filled with water
  • Cups for each participant
  • Water use cards - you can copy or print the cards found in the activity instructions or make posters representing different water uses
  • Scissors 
  • Poster board (optional)
  • Markers (optional)  

Here's what you do:   
1. Fill a pitcher with water. Make sure there is a limited amount of water so that not all cups can be filled.

2. Give each participant a cup.

3. Pass around the pitcher so each participant can fill their cup. A full cup represents enough water for the participants to meet their water needs.

4. Sometimes there is not enough water available for everyone's needs - in times of drought for example. Ask the participants to express how they feel.

5. Ask what they could do to make sure they all get water.

6. Repeat steps 1-5, this time with water allocations. Choose one or combine both of the following options:
  • First in time, first in right. Have the participants arrange themselves in order by their birth date.   
  • Use the water use cards found in the activity instructions to determine how the water is distributed. Randomly pass out the cards. Participants can use the information on the cards to discuss and campaign for more water or why others should get more and some should get less.

7. Discus the results, other ways the water could be allocated, and what the participants learned about water use
  • Those with more important uses get more. Who decides what's more important?
  • Equal shares, everyone gets some but some will get less than what they need.
  • Apply water restrictions and use water conservation practices to reduce the amount needed/used.
Share what you learned with The Groundwater Foundation!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

It's Water-Wise Wednesday with Frannie the Fish {Halloween Recycling Activity}

Halloween is right around the corner and Frannie is so excited to dress up and go trick-or-treating in her pond! Frannie wants to get into the Halloween spirit and decorate her house. Frannie found a fun activity you can do too - making a spooky, upcycled spider!

Want to learn why Frannie is doing an upcycling project? Check out the Upcycled Clothing Pin Snowflake Ornament blog.

Heads up: this is a messy project! 

Here's what you need:
  • 2-liter plastic bottle
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Googly eyes

Here's what you do:
1. Clean out a 2-liter plastic bottle and remove labeling.

2. Pour black paint in the bottle, screw cap on, and shake the bottle until black paint has coated the entire bottle. Pour excess paint out.

3. Let the paint dry overnight.

4. Cut the top of the bottle off and recycle.

5. Make legs for the spider by cutting the bottom of the bottle into 8 strips.

6. Bend the legs outward at the base of each strip.

7. Bend the legs inward about halfway down each strip.

8. Bend the legs inward again at the end of each strip.

9. Glue the googly eyes on your spider.

10. Decorate your house with your spooky spider!

Frannie wishes you a safe and fun Halloween!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

It's Water-Wise Wednesday with Frannie the Fish {Hydro Van Gogh}

This water-wise Wednesday Frannie wants to share a fun activity with you: Hydro Van Gogh! Express your artistic side by painting an aquifer. An aquifer is an underground geological formation of sand, soil, gravel, and rock able to store and yield water. The water from an aquifer is called groundwater and it is the water we drink and the water that grows our food. Find out more!

Here's what you need:
  • Aquifer map and/or an aquifer model
  • Canvas panels (recommended 5" x 7") or large sheets of paper
  • Oil pastels or acrylic paint 
  • Paint brushes

Here's what you do:
1. Use the Aquifer in a Cup activity to learn what an aquifer looks like and how it works. Identify the different parts of an aquifer using the graphic below:

2. Set out the canvas panel or a large sheet of paper, paint, and paintbrushes.

3. Now, pretend like you are a water drop that lands on the ground and seeps into an aquifer. Paint what you see as the water drop. Get as creative as you like!

4. Be sure to share your masterpiece at home with your family. Share what you know about groundwater and how to protect it!

Send pictures of your paintings to   

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

It's Water-Wise Wednesday with Frannie the Fish {Environmental Protection's Agency "How's My Waterway" Tool}

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a government agency with the mission to protect human health and the environment. The EPA created a fun tool called "How's My Waterway?" that you can use on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. This tool allows you to look up the condition of local streams, lakes, rivers, and other waters in the United States. The program uses the GPS location of your phone or a city or zip code to find waterways within five miles. See if your waterway was checked for pollution, what was found, and what is being done. The tool provides descriptions of each type of pollutant, likely sources and potential health risks. You can also find information on local drinking water sources and watersheds. 

Frannie is going to use this tool to:
  • find out more about her local water 
  • share what she has learned with her family, friends, and classmates
  • get involved with local water protection efforts
There are so many ways Frannie (and you!) can take action to protect water resources! Here are just a few ideas:

1. Get a Groundwater Guardian team started in your community or join an existing team! Groundwater Guardian is a nationwide network of teams of committed individuals that lead groundwater education and protection activities like labeling storm drains, organizing river clean-ups, holding groundwater festivals, distributing water testing kits, and more in their local communities!

2. Establish a Groundwater Guardian Green Site. A Green Site can be any green space (a park, ball field, zoo, educational campus, etc.). The program helps site managers learn more about groundwater-friendly maintenance practices.

3. Install a rain garden in your community. Building a rain garden is a fun project that will not only look great, but will help improve water quality.

4. Get involved in local wellhead protection efforts to help your community protect its drinking water. 

5. Organize a stream, river, or lake clean-up. Make an immediate difference in protecting water quality by picking up litter and debris from a water body in your community.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

It's Water-Wise Wednesday with Frannie the Fish {Stream, River, or Lake Clean-Up}

Hi Friends! Are you looking for a fun activity you can do with your class, extracurricular group, family, or friends that will benefit the whole community? Consider holding a clean-up of a local stream, river, or lake! Debris and trash can sometimes end up in places where it doesn't belong. The shore and banks of many water bodies tend to collect a lot of unwanted items. Get a group of people together to clean up a stream, river, or lake to improve local water quality.

Frannie is going to get her local Groundwater Guardian team involved in her clean-up efforts!

Here's what you need:
  • Plastic gloves
  • Wading boots
  • Trash bags
  • Sun protection - sun screen, hats, sunglasses, etc.

Here's what you do:
1. Be sure to read through and follow The Groundwater Foundation's Safety First rules.
2. Make sure everyone has on proper attire (appropriate shoes and gloves for collecting debris and trash, sunscreen, etc.).
3. Pair up participants in teams of two or more.
4. Provide each team with gloves and trash bags.

5. Divide up into adult-supervised groups and start collecting trash from the banks and shoreline.

For more fun:
  • Separate the items collected into recyclable and garbage piles. 
  • Weigh the items collected!
  • Make the activity a friendly competition. Who can find the oddest or most surprising item? Who can find the biggest or smallest item?

Send photos of your clean up activity to The Groundwater Foundation

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

It's Water-Wise Wednesday with Frannie the Fish {Nebraska MEDS Coalition - Drug Take Back Program}

Attention Nebraska friends:

Did you know that 85% of Nebraskans rely on groundwater for their drinking water? Groundwater is also an important source for irrigation (the water used to grow our food). It's not only important that we conserve groundwater, it is also important that we protect it from contamination. Groundwater contamination occurs when substances in the groundwater make it unfit for an intended purpose and can cause harm to people, animals and the environment. Contaminants can be naturally-occurring or manmade- like gasoline, oil, road salts, or other chemicals. Frannie wants to talk about another group of manmade contaminants today- pharmaceuticals and personal care products, including:
  • Cleaning and laundry products
  • Make-up products
  • Sunscreen and other moisturizers
  • Vitamins and dietary supplements
  • Medicines (prescription, over-the-counter, veterinary, etc.)
Find out more about these products here.

These products help keep us healthy and clean, but if they are disposed of improperly, they can end up in surface and groundwater. Improperly disposing of medications includes: flushing down toilets and drains or tossing in the trash.

Instead, be a leader and talk with your parent/guardian about making sure these products are properly disposed of with the Nebraska MEDS drug take-back program! Remember: never handle these products. Let your parent/guardian handle all medicines and personal care products.

The Nebraska MEDS Coalition is a group of state and community partners that educate Nebraskans about proper drug disposal and provide safe, convenient disposal opportunities! There are over 290 pharmacies across Nebraska that participate in the Nebraska MEDS drug take-back program and will take back leftover, unused, or expired medications all year round. Since 2012 when the program began, 33,176 pounds of medications have been collected and safely disposed of! Help be part of the solution and find a pharmacy near you!  

It is important that we all play a part in protecting this precious resource! Talk with your parent/guardian about protecting groundwater by taking back unused or expired medications today. Show them this fun infographic with more information.