LGUSD, provide equitable access to nature for Los Gatos elementary school students.

To conserve water costs, should we rob kids of equitable access to nature?  

Certainly given increasingly-dense urban housing in Los Gatos, not every child's family is afforded their own private land from which to benefit from daily exposure to nature.  

As a community working together to share natural resources, is THE place to severely restrict water the shared field? A field that may serve as the only regular daily exposure to nature that hundreds of our kids in dense, urban developments get?

No. This is wrong. This constitutes an equity issue.

LGUSD Equity Action Team and the many other Los Gatos community members that value equity, it's time to be an upstander for those children with less privilege.

A tweet from LGUSD's superintendent about the district's commitment to equity.

Elementary school play fields and public parks are absolutely the outdoor green spaces that make sense to judiciously water.

In fact, this could very well be part of the rationale San Jose Water used to develop its policy that even during the very highest stage of water conservation, irrigation of school play fields (like LGUSD's elementary school play fields) will NOT be considered a wasteful or unreasonable use of water and would continue to be permitted. More details here.

Likewise, in "9%: Perspective on the California drought and landscape water use", University of California Cooperative Extension stresses it's crucial to set priorities for landscape irrigation in severe drought. Among its short list of recommended priorities is sufficient water for public parks, school playgrounds, & sports fields. Real grass "provides the ideal surface for safe play, sport, and exercise activities needed by children and adults engaged in healthy lifestyles."

SJ Water's policy and UCCE's prioritization both support equitable access to nature, as they should...  

Nature exposure is associated with physical health benefits.

It's also associated with mental health benefits. Berkeley researchers observe:
"Since the 1950s, research suggests, we have become more and more distanced from nature and its life-giving benefits.  
People who are more connected with nature are happier, feel more vital, and have more meaning in their lives."

Nature deficits in childrens' formative years are also likely to have implications for future environmental health. Will nature become something some of our Los Gatos children simply read about in a textbook? Actually, since environmental education is merely a suggestion (from our State Superintendent of Public Instruction) rather than a requirement for California public schools, it's questionable whether Van Meter and Daves Elementary school children will get much formal environmental education at school at all.

What will it mean for our childrens' future if five acres of life from LGUSD elementary school play fields are obliterated and our childrens' experiential knowledge of the natural world is consequenly reduced? When environmental literacy declines, our environment suffers.

Berkeley researchers conclude, along with hundreds of others: 
"We stand to benefit tremendously from nurturing a strong connection with nature. Yet our connection to nature seems more tenuous than ever today — a time when our children can name more Pok√©mon characters than wildlife species. 
It is widely accepted that we are more disconnected from nature today than we were a century ago, but is that actually true? A recent study we conducted suggests that it is—and that may be bad news not only for our well-being but also for the environment...  
This is what made author Richard Louv write, “As the care of nature increasingly becomes an intellectual concept severed from the joyful experience of the outdoors, you have to wonder: Where will future environmentalists come from?""