Coming soon to Mount Shasta's Parker Plaza: a water bottle refilling station and fountain

Staff reports
Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers
Parker Plaza in downtown Mount Shasta is dedicated to the late Dr. Parker, who envisioned a community gathering place in what was once a dirt parking lot on Mt. Shasta Boulevard. This summer, the area will have a new addition: a water bottle refilling station.

Thirsty visitors and locals will soon be able to replenish their water bottles with Mount Shasta’s cool spring water at a refill station and drinking fountain at Parker Plaza.

The station is a project of the nonprofit “We Advocate Thorough Environmental Review,” or WATER, which landed two grants totaling nearly $10,000 to make the refill station possible.

Installation of the station was approved by the Mount Shasta City Council in 2020 and will be completed this summer by Mt. Shasta City Public Works.  

Mount Shasta City Planner Juliana Lucchesi receives a check from WATER board member Raven Stevens to purchase a water bottle refilling station, to be installed at Parker Plaza. WATER landed two grants in the amount of nearly $10,000 to purchase the fountain and the nonprofit provided the balance for the project itself.

Five thousand dollars comes from Plastic Oceans International’s program, “Rethink.Refill.” An additional $4,974 comes from the McConnell Fund. WATER will provide the remaining $2,500 needed to complete the project.

“We are deeply appreciative of the support from Plastic Oceans International and the McConnell Fund of the Community Foundation of the North State, as well as the many community members who have helped support this project and the mission of WATER,” said WATER's president Frank Toriello.

Plastic Oceans International is a United States-based nonprofit organization with the goal to end plastic pollution and foster sustainable communities worldwide. 

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“We are thrilled to include WATER and Mount Shasta in our ‘Rethink.Refill.’ initiative,” said Julie Andersen, the organization's CEO. “The partnership brings attention to the importance of access to potable water in ending plastic pollution. Together, we are not only reducing single-use plastic water bottle waste by providing safe drinking water via this refill station, but we’re also offering residents and visitors the power of being part of the solution.”

The McConnell Fund, administered by the Redding-based nonprofit Community Foundation of the North State, is dedicated to building better communities by providing funds in a number of community-based areas including recreation, environment, community vitality, and education, according to its website. The water bottle refill station is one of seven projects awarded in Siskiyou County this grant cycle.

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“We would also like to thank the Beautification Committee and the City of Mt. Shasta Planning Department for their assistance and cooperation and the Mount Shasta City Council for approval of the project,” said Raven Stevens, the WATER board member who spearheaded the project. “With these funds, the city will be purchasing and installing the refill station in Parker Plaza and WATER will host a public dedication this summer.”

Located in downtown Mount Shasta next to Burger Express and across the Street from Snow Creek Studios, Parker Plaza has been deemed “The Heart of Downtown.” The late Dr. Jim Parker and the Mountain Runners transformed what was once a dirt parking lot into the plaza with contributions from the community and proceeds the Fourth of July run/walk events.