Bringing Nature to Local Children

Rain barrel installation at Dolores Gonzales Elementary School in Albuquerque

Albuquerque, New Mexico | March 13, 2018

An Albuquerque elementary school that has mostly concrete for a playground and no outside water source is getting help. The Nature Conservancy and its partners will install  huge rain barrels to irrigate their fruits and vegetables on which they rely on for nutrition. 

WHO: Dolores Gonzales Elementary School, General Mills Inc. and Plant World

WHAT: Installing ten 250-gallon rain barrels throughout the school campus

WHEN: Saturday, March 17, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

WHERE: Dolores Gonzales Elementary School, 900 Atlantic Ave. SW, Albuquerque

WHY: To collect rain water to irrigate the fruit trees and school garden that grows tomatoes, carrots, watermelon, zucchini, kale, plums and apples. Currently there is no access to water outdoors. The produce provides nutrition for the students and vegetable start the kids can take home to their families.

VISUALS: Repurposing 250-gallon totes into rain barrels; building brick structures that the rain barrels will sit on; and installing rain barrels throughout campus. School garden, campus

RSVP: Tracey Stone 602-738-1586, 

The full story:

Dolores Gonzales Elementary School has no water lines for its gardens that grow food their students depend on. That’s going to change when volunteers from the Conservancy, General Mills, Plant World and school staff install ten 250-gallon rain barrels to help collect and store rainwater to be used to irrigate these natural spaces. 

This project is an example of how The Nature Conservancy’s Urban Conservation program designed to bring nature into the city is working in under-served neighborhoods to increase access to clean water and air as well as cooler temperatures.

“It will break your heart to see so few natural places for kids to connect to and play in during recess,” says Sarah Hurteau, director of urban conservation at The Nature Conservancy in New Mexico. “We’re excited that our project will allow kids to connect to the natural world around them, even if it’s just a tomato plant.”

Known for its collaborative approach, the Conservancy has brought together several partners to launch this project. General Mills, which has a plant in Albuquerque, is donating the barrels for the rainwater collection and employees from the plant will help with the installation.

General Mills Inc. is excited to be a part of this collaborative effort. The company’s goal is to build strong, resilient and sustainable communities…and this is a big step in the right direction.

Additional supporters include Plant World which is donating seed packets for the upcoming growing season. Also, the Center for Social and Sustainable Systems was awarded a $2,000 Nature Works Everywhere grant for classroom and garden supplies to enhance curriculum around these new garden features. 

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Contact information

Tracey Stone
The Nature Conservancy


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