ST. PAUL, MINN – According to sixth grader Sophie Davis, the Race 2 Reduce program has opened her eyes – not only to water conservation practices in her own home, but how other cultures don’t take water for granted like many Americans. As part of the Race 2 Reduce programming at her Sunrise Park Middle School, students were partnered with a school in Uganda, where they learned how many students have to walk for miles in order to access clean drinking water. The lessons are all part of a plan to raise awareness about water usage, and to engage the participating communities of White Bear Lake and Mahtomedi in water conservation efforts.
Sen. Chuck Wiger (DFL-Maplewood) is chief authoring a bill to invest $200,000 in the Race 2 Reduce program to allow for expansion in northeast metro communities. The bill had a hearing in the Senate E-12 Finance Committee on Thursday. Sen. Wiger was joined by several testifiers including Davis, White Bear Lake Schools Superintendent Michael Lovett, as well as a teacher and Race 2 Reduce program directors.
“Water conservation is incredibly important, and particularly so in the White Bear Lake and Mahtomedi communities. The lowering levels of White Bear Lake has brought water issues to the forefront of many people’s minds. The Race 2 Reduce program does an excellent job of teaching kids water conservation practices that can involve their entire families – this is how I envision our culture changing for the better,” said Sen. Wiger.
The current programming serves 1,333 students and 224 adults. The program has involved 260 educators and community members in the White Bear Lake and Mahtomedi area. The Race 2 Reduce campaign includes targeted activities provided to all K-12 schools in both school districts.
Sen. Wiger’s House counterpart Rep. Peter Fischer (DFL-Maplewood) is the author of the bill in the House. Supporters of the bill include the White Bear Area Chamber of Commerce, the White Bear Lake Homeowners Association and mayors of White Bear Lake and Mahtomedi.
If you have questions or concerns on this bill, please contact Sen. Wiger at firstname.lastname@example.org.