Locally designed water exhibition wins conservation education award

Photo By: Town Crier File Photo
Photo Town Crier File Photo Children take turns trying out the hand-pump display at the Los Altos History Museum’s award-winning “Shaped by Water” exhibition.

Nearly 9,000 guests viewed the “Shaped by Water: Past, Present & Future” exhibition at the Los Altos History Museum from October 2011 through April 2012.

The exhibition has had a ripple effect, winning recognition for its educational value at the Silicon Valley Water Conservation Awards.

“The exhibition connects people to our most vital natural resource – water,” said Peter Drekmeier, spokesman for the Silicon Valley Water Conservation Awards and Bay Area program director for the Tuolumne River Trust. “There’s often a big disconnect between consumers and where our water comes from.”

According to Drekmeier, “Shaped by Water” was an innovative display that could be replicated by other organizations.

The group’s 19-member coalition reviewed all nominations and noted that they were particularly impressed that the Los Altos History Museum’s exhibition was an effort spearheaded by an all-volunteer committee.

“In a time of budget cuts for nonprofits, it’s really vital for volunteers to step in,” Drekmeier said.

With the mission of educating audiences on how water influenced the history of the Santa Clara Valley and how water consumption will impact its future, “Shaped by Water” was the vision of a group of local volunteers.

Volunteer Trish Mulvey said she nominated the exhibition for the award because she was inspired by “the incredible dedication and teamwork of the entire committee in successfully moving from concept to ‘big idea.’”

“When you look at all the things that the exhibition lays out, I think it’s magic,” she said.

Los Altos artist Linda Gass, curator of the exhibition, was honored last year by the Silicon Valley Watershed Summit for her contributions to the project.

Following its stop at the Los Gatos History Museum last year, “Shaped by Water” is scheduled for display at History San Jose, 1650 Senter Road, through Sept. 8.

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