OMWD Named “Business of the Year” for its Protection of Escondido Creek Watershed
Representatives from the Escondido Creek Conservancy presented Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors with the “Business of the Year” award at OMWD’s December 11 meeting. OMWD received the award for its support of the Conservancy’s education program. The program has become increasingly successful each year, and today brings thousands of local students annually to Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve to learn about water quality and habitat protection.
The commendation is part of the Conservancy’s Watershed Heroes award program which recognizes volunteers and partners for their support of the Conservancy’s efforts.
OMWD began partnering with the Conservancy on its education program over a decade ago—OMWD secured grant funding, and the Conservancy accepted donations to fund construction of Elfin Forest Interpretive Center Honoring Susan J. Varty. The unique collaboration between the public agency and land conservancy sparked an education program for local students and other visitors of the reserve.
The Conservancy’s Education Director, Simon Breen, explained, “OMWD worked with us to build the Interpretive Center at the reserve back in 2009, and we’ve been running many of our education programs there ever since. We’re very fortunate that OMWD continues to allow us to use their enchanting space for our programs. But it goes beyond that. Their rangers are vital in helping us recruit and train volunteer docents, and we rely on these docents to help educate the public and protect our watershed. We’re so thankful for all OMWD does for us and for the region.”
OMWD Board Secretary Bob Kephart said, “OMWD proudly supports the Conservancy’s mission to educate people of all ages related to the Escondido Creek watershed and San Diego’s water supply. It’s been a pleasure working with this dedicated organization, and we look forward to continuing the partnership.”
Mr. Breen added, “The unique partnership between the Olivenhain Municipal Water District and the Escondido Creek Conservancy is truly something special. I think a lot of people don’t realize that OMWD manages Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve, but they do, and they’re wonderful stewards of this land.”