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Mark Gold & The Lions

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In my first conversation with Mark Gold, when I met him over 6 years ago, I still very keenly remember his lessons to me about the safety process of our national drinking water. His clarity and wisdom was so apparent and unique, even to me who was just starting to think about water policy issues. I continue to cherish his guidance, and as so many of us, consider him a marker for the right path we all need to take in so many areas of interest.

As good nonprofits should, WeTap evolves from the lessons of our best community leaders. Mark Gold, D.Env., Associate Director of UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, is among our city’s vital core of the best environmental policy educators.

When I recently asked Mark if I can photograph him drinking from a public drinking fountain for the WeTap website, he gleamed, “I love the Lion!!”

In Mark’s words, “When I was a little kid, I used to go to Centinela Park (now Edward Vincent Park) almost daily and I still remember drinking water from the Lion drinking fountains. Today, as a parent that watched my kids play hundreds of Little League and AYSO soccer games, I’ve become painfully aware that every game creates a sea of plastic water bottles. There are never enough drinking fountains at parks, schools and other public places. As a result, the addiction to drinking from single use plastic bottles has continued to grow.

“WeTap is pushing for a return to better days – drinking water fountains at all heavily visited public places. This is a healthy and money saving solution to our growing addiction to bottled water and other drinks. The end result will be a safer and healthier community and a lot less trash on our streets, in our gutters and creeks, on our beaches and in our bays.”

To my glee, Mark adds, “Evelyn and WeTap are doing such critical work for the region.”

I hope our local leaders who collectively make these important decisions of where filling stations will be added and what fountains are dignified enough to need repair, will consider the thoughtful reflections and advise from Mark Gold. The simple course of cities correctly providing enough public water access in outdoor public locations where children play and learn, where the elderly rest or enjoy fresh air and for the rest of us, is indeed a worthwhile and minimal investment in our future health, wealth and well being. Thanks Mark!

For more information about Lion Fountains, click here.

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