This year, 104 public elementary school classes are participating in our vernal pools program. This was made possible by a combination of local government contracts with stormwater agencies and generous private donors who allowed us to significantly expand the program over the past 5 years.
Last September, just as we had turned our attention toward building a permanent home for Splash at Mather Field, one long-time government contract, which provided 25% of the funding for the program was cancelled. This was a direct hit to the program and put our entire operation in jeopardy.
In response, our many friends in the community have stepped up to keep Splash alive.
Regional San and Sacramento Area Sewer District recently committed $115,000 to provide scholarships for 32 elementary classes next year.
The City of Folsom Stormwater Program is planning to double the number of classes it sponsors every year.
The City of Rancho Cordova is currently reviewing a grant application to expand the program to every elementary school within its jursidiction.
Major donors are pledging to match all donations on Big Day of Giving dollar-for-dollar (up to $30,000).
Starting in July, we expect to lose an additional 35% of our budget to government funding cuts. Despite this staggering blow, we will fight to keep the vernal pools program in as many public school classrooms as possible next year.
If you value environmental science, public education, and local conservation, Big Day of Giving on Thursday, May 3 is your best chance to ensure that thousands of expectant 4th/5th graders get to discover the vernal pools of Mather Field, hands-on science, and their role in protecting water and habitat next year.
If this difficult experience has taught us anything, it is how much Sacramento’s children, families, teachers, and civic leaders care about this program. They refuse to see Splash die. We are humbled by their faith and support. For the children of Sacramento and the vernal pools of Mather Field, we will not let this program or this place die.