By Gregory Minchak
NLC's Executive Director, Clarence Anthony, was part of a celebration to announce the second annual National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation on Tuesday, April 2nd. The challenge runs April 1 - 30 and asks residents to show their commitment to conserving natural resources by taking an online pledge at www.mywaterpledge.com.
The Earth Month initiative will reward residents from cities with the highest percentage of participants with hundreds of environmentally friendly prizes, including a Toyota Prius c, water-saving fixtures and gift certificates to Lowe's stores.
At the kick-off in Washington, D.C., Clarence Anthony joined renowned marine artist Wyland, Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Washington, DC, Nancy Stoner, acting assistant administrator for water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and representatives from Toyota, CH2M Hill WaterMatch, DC Water, and the U.S. Forest Service to discuss the importance of sustainability and environmental stewardship.
Pete Dominick, longtime SiriusXM host, stand-up comic and CNN contributor, also spoke as the official spokesperson of Comics for Conservation, a series of public service announcements by well-known comics in support of the environment. During the event, Wyland created a five-by-ten foot conservation-themed mural that will be awarded to one of the Mayor's Challenge winning cities.
"City leaders are taking steps to increase conservation and promote efficient use, reuse and collection of water. Still, raising awareness of the importance of water conservation and motivating residents to make changes to their water consumption habits can be difficult," Said Anthony. He continued, "By taking this Challenge, local governments are not only declaring their commitments to water conservation in their communities; but are provided with practical - and free - tools and resources to engage the community in water conservation."
The challenge divides cities into five population categories: 5,000 - 30,000 residents, 30,000 - 100,000 residents, 100,000 - 300,000 residents, 300,000 - 600,000 residents, and cities with more than 600,000 residents. One winning city will be determined in each of the five population categories. The grand prize of a Toyota Prius c will be awarded to one participant from a winning city by random drawing. A second prize drawing for a $1,000 Lowe's shopping spree will be held among all challenge entries, regardless if a city is among the five winning cities. Participating mayors and elected officials can earn additional prizes for their residents if their cities win.
The challenge also provides residents with local resources to take their commitments of conservation even further. Regional water and energy resources to cost-saving tips at home are available at www.mywaterpledge.com. Organizers are currently leading an eight-state U.S. educational tour, visiting schools and community events to prime cities for the Earth Month initiative in which thousands of residents nationwide are expected to participate.
To take the pledge or learn more about the National Mayor's Challenge, visit www.mywaterpledge.com. For tips on how to save water every day and to learn about water-efficient products for the home, visit www.epa.gov/watersense.