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Interactive Eco Home teaches kids water, recycling, and other sustainability practices

The Soquel Creek Water District and the Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery (MOD) have partnered to create an “Eco Home,” an interactive learning exhibit to inspire and challenge kids and families about water sustainability and how to use water wisely. Check the MOD website at www.sccmod.org for open hours.

Enhancing the community’s understanding and appreciation of water is part of the mission of Soquel Creek Water District in providing a clean, reliable water supply. In fact, the District’s outreach, education programs, and partnerships use a variety of methods to bring that message to customers, families, students, and kids.

As the pandemic eases, the District is returning to in-person events and workshops, facility tours, a speakers’ bureau, water academy, and school presentations. They also have the Community Water Plan Learning Center, and the award-winning Water Education Trailer, which they can take to schools and events to offer hands-on water education in a colorful, exciting, and fun way.

Working with various organizations in the community has also led to partnerships focused on raising more public awareness on vital water conservation methods. One such partner is the Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery (MOD) which focuses on creating an interactive learning environment to inspire and challenge kids and families about the world around us – including about water, water sustainability, and using water wisely. We’re proud to partner with MOD in the creation of its remarkable environmental education/water conservation “Eco Home” interactive exhibit. Check the MOD website at www.sccmod.org for open hours.

Solar panels are also featured in the Eco Home.

The Eco Home is a 15’ x 15’ three-wall miniature house designed to demonstrate sustainable living concepts, with an emphasis on water conservation.

The MOD applied to the District for a $2,000 Water Education Promotion Mini-Grant to help with the cost of creating the Eco Home, and they were very pleased to award this grant!


MOD’s project clearly supports local water-related educational events and programs with a major theme or activity promoting water education and conservation, drinking water quality, and/or local water supply issues – everything the District wants the community to better understand and embrace.

The District did more than provide this useful grant: their staff members were actively involved as this project came together – attending planning meetings, helping to connect the MOD staff with other companies for additional funding and assistance, and providing some technical support as the exhibit came together.

When kids enter the Eco Home, some of the key water-related features they’ll experience include:

  • Interpretive materials around “Five Ways to Save Water in Our Homes” and “Ten Ways You Can Make Your Landscape More Sustainable.”
  • An interactive rainwater catchment system with a “rain cloud,” rain barrel, and rain gutters to introduce the concept of reusing rainwater to decrease the use of groundwater, and reducing flow into storm sewers and water treatment systems.
  • An interactive, child-sized clothes washer and dryer illustrating sustainable laundry practices including elements of a grey water system directed outside the Eco Home to “water” a fruit tree in the exhibit’s “yard.”
  • An interactive planter box using wooden fruits and vegetables where children will learn the benefits of using compost and recycled water in agriculture – something particularly relevant in Santa Cruz County.

The Eco Home also includes interactive elements illustrating solar energy, composting, recycling, and other sustainability concepts. Through these and other interactive exhibits and activities, the Eco Home helps empower children to be part of the solution to the problems of water management, climate change, and degradation of the environment.


The District continues to provide a strong focus on community education and outreach, to help the people of today and the generations of tomorrow to fully embrace the value of water and the great need for water conservation and water supply sustainability.