Harvesting rainwater and respecting the environment

For decades now, a center run by scientists and technicians in Weisswasser has been raising local children's and teenagers' awareness of "intelligent" and environmentally friendly use of technology. On the agenda for the 2006-2007 school year: the water cycle.

Environment and Biodiversity


Petra Brünner

10,000 euro to the Selection Committee at 2006/05/23

Project leader

Kinder und Jugendfreizeit e.V

"I am convinced that this new project will have an impact on teenagers: it will raise their awareness of the need to preserve water resources. In the longer term, it will also serve as a model for private individuals and institutions."

Petra Brünner

On the outskirts of Weisswasser, midway between the town and an old coalmine currently being rehabilitated as a nature park, the Weisswasser young researchers and technicians center run by non-profit organization Kinder und Jugendfreizeit e.V. has been working with children and young people since 1953. During study trips lasting several days or one-day educational events organized by schools and kindergartens, the children discover new activities associating nature and technology. Successful past projects include renovation and extension of a nature discovery track, a "hotel" for insects and the wet biotope, a website fostering tolerance and a project on "Wolves in the Lusace region". The center, which actually comprises several buildings, welcomes around 80 children a week on average and the organization employs two educationalists, a volunteer assistant and 13 volunteer youth workers.

A model of ecology

The organization's most recent project concerns harvesting of rainwater. It is keen to equip all its buildings with a rainwater harvesting system linked to a reservoir1. The water harvested could be used to maintain the wet biotope and water the 7 000 m2 of land surrounding the center. Kinder und Jugendfreizeit e.V. also plans to involve the older children in building the installations and subsequently organize new activities based around water. The project is designed from the outset to be a model of ecology.
To finance acquisition of the equipment and materials required, develop the land and buildings and organize a mini communication campaign around the project, Kinder und Jugendfreizeit e.V. has calculated a budget of 23,000 euros. The 10,000 euros granted by the Veolia Foundation will help cover this investment in a project that aims to use rainwater as a resource and educate young people about the importance of an environmentally friendly approach to the water cycle.