The kids are out of school and it’s starting to heat up here in Southern California. We all remember those lazy summer days of our youth, trekking to Disneyland or hanging out at the beach. Well, what if this summer your kids went back to school with a new found interest in something important, like stormwater issues? We think that would be pretty cool, so here are 5 ways to help get you started!

#1: Do a Beach Cleanup

Nothing like a little reward for hard work. Every month Heal the Bay and other organizations coordinate beach cleanups which we list in our community calendar. So why not pick one and have the kids chip in for a morning? They will learn a little about how litter from the streets ends up at our beaches, and they will feel good about doing their part to make the environment a better place. Plus, you can reward them by hanging out for the afternoon at the beach, so they can play in the water!

#2: Plant a Native Garden

Not many kids enjoy mowing lawns, so why not have your kids help you get rid of one! Have them join you in turning your lawn into a native garden. Less watering means less runoff, which means less ocean pollution. Pretty cool, huh? The kids will agree.

#3: Learn Your Watershed

A crucial component of understanding how water makes its way to the ocean is to understand what exactly a watershed is. Grab a watershed map and show the kids where your house is located. From there, explain what watershed you live in and how water from that watershed flows to the ocean.

#4: Take Your Kids on the LA River Bike Path

Kids love field trips, even in summer! Why not load ‘em all up with their bikes and take them to a section of the LA River Bike Path. Ride along a portion of the path and explain how runoff from the streets runs to the river and then the ocean. Connecting the dots about stormwater will be knowledge they can share with their peers. Plus exercise is healthy!

#5: Check out a City Water Improvement Project

So now that your kids are watershed and stormwater wizards, why not show them a project that the City is doing to help improve water quality. A couple of ideas may include Echo Park Lake and the recently opened Westside Park Rainwater Irrigation Project.

Here’s to making this summer full of stormwater fun education! Let us know which way you and your kids learned about stormwater by sharing it with us in the comment section below.

*Photo Courtesy of the County of San Mateo