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Lynchburg Water Resources “Water Wonders” Entertains While Educating
In a typical year, Lynchburg Water Resources (LWR) education and outreach staff visits schools, leads field trips, hosts water plant and wastewater plant tours, and participates in large-scale events. Due to COVID-19, these events were no longer safe to continue. As a solution to continue to raise awareness, the education and outreach staff began filming a series of short 3-5-minute-long videos entitled “Water Wonders.” The lighthearted, upbeat videos highlight LWR’s efforts to provide water, wastewater, and stormwater services, while also showing the plants and wildlife that benefit from clean water to demonstrate the importance of LWR’s work in the natural and built world.
Many of the videos focused on LWR services and the work that LWR conducts every day to keep its water clean from source to tap (and back to the source again!). The videos include strategies and actions that the audience could participate in at home, such as picking up after their pets, friendly flushing (i.e., only flushing the 3Ps), picking up trash in their neighborhood, proper grease disposal, and more! The team has been able to document increased awareness and behavior change based on video comments and messages sent to DWR after the videos were published.
The virtual format is promoted on familiar social media sites (YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram) on #WaterWondersWednesday and LWR’s webpage. Consistent posting on Wednesdays, hashtag usage, and scheduled video premieres enabled audiences to easily locate and search for the videos virtually. Overall, the campaign created a consistent and comprehensive continuation of education and outreach programming in a safe, virtual format during the pandemic while developing content to be used after the community recovers from the pandemic.
NACWA awarded Lynchburg Water Resources a 2021 National Environmental Achievement Award in the Public Information & Education, E-Media category for its engaging and educational videos. Congratulations to LWR and everyone involved!