Esther Kang

H2.0 stations for dogs, people underway in Manhattan Beach

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The Leadership Manhattan Beach Class of 2013 has planned a special gift for the Manhattan Beach community come Earth Day: five new state-of-the-art water stations across town, three of which will include a fountain for canine companions.

Before the City Council Tuesday, a class representative presented this year’s project, which, with the mission of reducing plastic bottle waste and inspiring healthy water consumption, will replace five highly-trafficked water fountains with what they call “H2.0 Stations.”

The multifunctional units, which cost $4,000 apiece, incorporate a water bottle refill fountain, a traditional water fountain, and in some cases, a dog fountain.

“This project… supports the lifestyle of Manhattan Beach and establishes us as a green leader in the South Bay,” said Kyle King, class project leader. “We feel that the environmental correlation and the reduction in plastic make a wonderful connection for the city and its residences.”

Five “H2.0 Stations” will be installed in high foot-traffic areas across Manhattan Beach. Courtesy of the City of Manhattan Beach

Five “H2.0 Stations” will be installed in high foot-traffic areas across Manhattan Beach. Courtesy of the City of Manhattan Beach

Manufactured by Most Dependable Fountains, Inc., the “H2.0 Station” is nearly 4-feet-8-inches tall and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The locations of the new water stations, determined by the city’s Public Works Department for high use and visibility, will be as follows: The Strand on Manhattan Beach Boulevard; the Mariposa Pathway Par Course on Ardmore Avenue; Polliwog Park near West Gazebo; the Marine Avenue basketball courts, and the Manhattan Village Soccer Field.

The first three locations listed, noted for high canine traffic, will include dog fountains, King said.

The group received an initial grant from the West Basin Water District in December. With a flow of cash donations and commitments, the project is on track to be fully funded, King said.

A supportive council praised the leadership class for undertaking a project that aligns with the city’s greater mission of instilling environmental consciousness in the community.

“It starts small, but it doesn’t have to stop,” Council member Nick Tell said. “This is an opportunity for council, if this works, to take it and expand it to other drinking fountains it can be applied to. This is the perfect example of showing leadership, but also showing leadership to us.”

Mayor Wayne Powell noted that this project also streamlines the Vitality City’s Blue Zones initiative, which encourages a healthy, active lifestyle in the Beach Cities.

“It’s a win-win situation, none of it at taxpayer’s expense,” Powell said.

Every year, the acting Leadership Manhattan Beach class undertakes a community project for the long-term benefit of the city. The training program boasts nearly 400 alumni since its inception in 1992.

Construction is slated to begin the third week of March with the removal of the old water fountains, which will be donated to Los Angeles public schools. The new units will be installed in the first week of April, followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony on Earth Day, April 27.

Related: Blue Zones Project