GONZALES — Gonzales residents Sofia Ramirez and Maury Treleven partnered to bring hydration stations to local schools with help from the Measure K Community Action Grant.
In the past, Treleven had applied for grants from other nonprofit organizations in Monterey County but ran into trouble when the application benefitted two public organizations, the City of Gonzales and the Gonzales Unified School District. The nonprofit would be hesitant to award grant funding to an organization that was not a nonprofit.
“This really afforded Sofia and I as members of the community to collaborate on behalf of our young people,” Treleven said. “When these young people are in school, that’s our opportunity to engage them in health and wellness and other educational opportunities.”
Treleven and Ramirez came up with the idea for hydration stations because of the Class of 2015 and Treleven’s work in waste diversion, working with reusable items.
The Class of 2015 worked with the school district to bring the first hydration station to Gonzales students at the high school.
The locations selected to put hydration stations included schools and areas where athletics were taking place.
A hydration station is going to be placed at the high school outside the gymnasium and outside the multipurpose gym at Fairview Middle School, with a second station in a common area at Fairview Middle School and one inside the cafeteria at La Gloria Elementary School.
“Each of the stations has a bottle counter on it that shows each time a bottle is filled up, how many bottles they are averting,” Treleven said. “We’re trying to avert single-use bottles and promote reusables.”
The hydration stations also support the City’s health and wellness goals as well as sustainability goals.
The stations can be used to fill up water bottles or to drink from, like a water fountain.
“The water is filtered and refrigerated,” Treleven said.
As for the installation of the hydration stations, the Ramirez-Treleven group partnered with the Gonzales School District for the plumbing and electrical work.
The Measure K Community Action Grant is provided by the City of Gonzales and is awarded to community groups that prepare projects benefiting the community. Grant applications are reviewed by the Measure K Citizen’s Advisory Committee, which makes recommendations to the City Council.