Black & Veatch to host second annual 'Learn-In' for Kansas City youth

Black & Veatch is hosting its Second Annual "Learn-in Day" for the Kansas City Youth Conservation Corps crew on June 12 that includes interactive sessions on rain gardens and water engineering. Black & Veatch will award $250 scholarships to each of the twelve 16- to 18-year-olds participating in the event who complete the YCC program this summer. The scholarships will come from a grant from the Building a World of Difference® Foundation to the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation...

• Company to award $250 scholarships to visiting students

KANSAS CITY, MO, June 6, 2008 -- Black & Veatch is hosting its Second Annual "Learn-in Day" for the Kansas City Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) crew on June 12 that includes interactive sessions on rain gardens and water engineering. Black & Veatch will award $250 scholarships to each of the twelve 16- to 18-year-olds participating in the "Learn-in Day" who complete the YCC program this summer.

The funding for the scholarships will come from a grant from the Building a World of Difference® Foundation to the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation, the non-profit arm of the Missouri Department of Conservation, which is a co-sponsor of the program with the Full Employment Council. The YCC program provides summer projects for inner-city and minority youth that stress the importance of environmental conservation and research.

"We're glad that we can again host these young people as they visit the first corporate rain garden in Kansas City," said Dan McCarthy, President and CEO of Black & Veatch's water business. "The interactive sessions they'll take part in during the day will help introduce them to several water engineering topics and hopefully encourage them to consider environmental careers when they go to college."

The YCC members and their sponsors will participate in four interactive water engineering sessions on June 12 at the company's 8400 Ward Parkway office:
• Water Supply -- Where does our water come from and how do we protect it?
• Stormwater -- How can we beneficially reuse stormwater to help prevent flooding and improve water quality, and what role do rain gardens play?
• Drinking Water -- Why is tap water safer than bottled and so much less expensive?
• Wastewater -- What does it take to return water to the environment with better quality than when we harvested it?

The day's activities will include taste tests, environmental puzzles, water engineering activities, a tour of the rain garden and a community service project titled "Rain Garden in a Bag." For the project, participants will make clay seed balls with a special seed mixture for native plants in the Kansas City area.

"We're encouraging the students to 'plant the seeds of community involvement' by taking part in this project," McCarthy explained. "The bags will then be distributed to nonprofit organizations to enable them to plant their own rain gardens throughout the city."

Along with the $250 scholarship, each YCC member will receive educational materials and an mp3 music player that will be loaded with environmentally related songs. McCarthy will award the scholarships during a scholarship ceremony at noon; guests from local government and civic organizations have also been invited.

Black & Veatch has partnered with Hallmark Cards Inc., on this youth program for two years. On June 10, the YCC members will visit Hallmark's headquarters in Kansas City to see an example of the recycling loop in action. Hallmark composts cafeteria food waste through Missouri Organic, and the resulting compost is used as fertilizer on Hallmark's rain garden. The group also will tour the Missouri Organic facilities on June 10.

Rain gardens are sunken areas planted with native perennials that are specially designed to collect stormwater runoff and return it to the ground naturally and safely. According to recent research, properly designed rain gardens can effectively trap and retain a high percentage of common pollutants in urban storm runoff, which is designed to improve water quality.

Black & Veatch is a leading global engineering, consulting and construction company specializing in infrastructure development in energy, water, telecommunications, management consulting, federal and environmental markets.

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