New Jersey

Show Us Your H2O

Show us where your water comes from!
Show Us Your H2O

Do you know where your water comes from? It’s not just the faucet in your house. The water that we use every day for drinking, bathing, cooking and gardening could come from a river, lake, stream, reservoir, or aquifer. Join forces with your students or community members and learn what or whom to thank for this precious resource that is part of our everyday lives.

Solve the puzzle of where your water comes from and then illustrate it to teach others for a chance to win a rain garden! Two lucky winners will have a rain garden designed and installed on their property by The Nature Conservancy.

See Contest Rules for more information about restrictions and eligibility.
How To Enter

We want to see your creativity in answering the question: “Where does your water come from?”

To get started, you may consider one or several of the questions below:

• Does my water come from a reservoir, a river, a lake, an aquifer?
• What is a watershed and how does my watershed affect me?
• Where is my school or organization located within my watershed?
• Are there any risks my watershed or water source is facing?
• What can my community do to protect the water?

Who is eligible?

• School groups of any grade level and civic organizations from Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, and Somerset Counties only
• Tax-exempt organizations only
• Must be a US resident and at least 18 years old to enter
• No purchase necessary to enter

Contest Dates

Contest Opens: May 8, 2013
Contest Closes: June 8, 2013
Judging Takes Place: June 11-12, 2013
Winners Notified: June 12-14, 2013

Contest Categories

School Division
School groups of any grade level from Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, and Somerset are encouraged to submit entries

Civic Organizations Division
All civic organizations from Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, and Somerset are encouraged to submit entries

What is a rain garden?

A rain garden is a garden of native perennials and flowers planted in a small depression that allows rainwater runoff from impervious urban areas—like roofs, driveways, walkways, parking lots, and compacted lawn areas—the opportunity to be absorbed. A rain garden it is dry most of the time. It typically holds water only during and following a rainfall event.

They are designed to temporarily hold and soak up rainwater runoff and are effective in removing up to 90% of nutrients and chemicals and up to 80% of sediments from the rainwater runoff. Rain gardens help to improve water quality in nearby bodies of water and can cut down on the amount of pollution reaching creeks and streams by up to 30%.

What benefits do rain gardens provide to my community?

• Improves water quality by filtering out pollutants
• Aesthetically pleasing
• Preserves native vegetation
• Provides localized stormwater and flood control
• Attracts beneficial birds, butterflies and insects
• Creates a visual education tool for children and adults
• Easy to maintain after establishment

What kind of maintenance does a rain garden require?

When native plants are used, your rain garden will not require pesticides or fertilizer. As the rain garden is establishing during the first and second year, or during periods of little to no rainfall, occasional watering of the plants may be necessary. Likewise, weeds will need to be removed and dead plants may need to be replaced. Once the plants in the rain garden have become established and grow larger, minimal maintenance is required for upkeep.

Site selection for Rain Garden

See Contest Rules for full details about site selection and potential winner requirements.

Submission Guidelines

Deadline: 11:59PM (EST) June 8, 2013

1) Complete an entry form to include with your submission. Download an entry form HERE.

2) Entry forms and submissions can be scanned and emailed to the contest email address at or mailed to:
The Nature Conservancy, Attn: Show Us Your H2O, 2350 Route 47, Delmont, NJ 08314.

See Contest Rules for full submission details including eligibility, accepted submission formats and restrictions.

Looking for inspiration? Here are some resources to help you get started:

The Nature Conservancy's Forest to Faucet Program

The Nature Conservancy - Where Does Your Water Come From map

New Jersey Department of the Environment

Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions

New Jersey Water Supply Authority


How will the winners be chosen?

One winner in each category, schools and community organizations, will be selected and will be determined by a panel of judges according to criteria listed below. The Nature Conservancy retains the sole discretion over the selection of, and decision not to select, any particular entry as a winner. No purchase necessary. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning.

Select entries will be posted online at the website.

Judging Criteria

One winner will be selected from the School Category and one from the Civic Category by a panel selected by The Nature Conservancy according to criteria listed below. Points will be awarded based on the sole discretion of judges.
Creativity and originality: Entry attempts to use creativity, artistic expression and innovation when conveying their message.
Content of message: Entry clearly addresses and answers contest questions.
Technical accuracy: Research is accurate and informative.
Visual quality: All visuals and text are easily understood; all visual effects contribute to rather than distract from the underlying message.

What if my submission is selected?

1. The Nature Conservancy will attempt to notify you via email by June 12, 2013.
2. The email will include information about winner requirements and necessary steps.
3. See Contest Rules for details about the prize and potential winner requirements.

Other questions?

Contact The Nature Conservancy at 609-861-4130 or





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