As a leading bottled water company in North America, we work hard to be a good neighbor, which to us means putting community first. In Florida, we support, through water and financial donations and volunteer efforts, a variety of events and initiatives that our neighbors care about and that align with our company values. We work hand-in-hand with local residents and organizations to help ensure we understand their needs and concerns so that our operations positively benefit the community at large.
For decades, we have funded important projects in the state including educational programs, environmental cleanups, recycling access, and disaster relief.
Here are just a few ways we have contributed to local communities across Florida:
- In 2013, we established a partnership with the WaterVentures mobile science lab and the Crystal Springs Foundation that has helped to educate more than two million students throughout the state about being good stewards of the state’s water resources and protecting Florida’s springs. The Crystal Springs Foundation boasts a 525-acre sanctuary educating over 50,000 students annually through eight tailored programs, while the WaterVentures Learning Lab creates a personal learning experience with its 53-foot semi-trailer customized for educational outreach programs.
- We have participated in Project WET for the past 27 years. In February 2019, nearly two dozen Zephyrhills employees volunteered at the ‘Make a Splash’ festival at Crystal Springs Preserve. More than 400 elementary students from Pasco County attended the event to learn about water stewardship through five interactive water stations led by the volunteers.
- In 2018, the Zephyrhills factory hosted presentations and facility tours for K-12 students in order to inspire the next generation of skilled workers.
- In Lake City, we give $2,500 per year to the Every Drop Counts scholarship at Florida Gateway College. Two needs-based scholarships of $1,250 each are awarded to students interested in working in the field of water management.
- In Madison County, we are helping develop talent and tackle unemployment through our Project Opportunity apprenticeship program in partnership with the State of Florida, North Florida Community College and CareerSource. In 2017, a student in the maintenance and mechanic training program received a paid three-year internship at our plant in Madison and the opportunity to earn an Associate’s Degree.
Recycling Access and Cleanup Events
- In 2017, we partnered with Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful to fund 220 recycling bins across Florida to help increase access to recycling on beaches and at other public recreation locations along Florida’s waterways.
- In April 2019, volunteers from the Zephyrhills factory participated in the Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful “Great American Cleanup” event at McKay Bay Nature Park.
- From 2015 to 2018, we participated in a community-wide clean up in Madison County, joining volunteers from North Florida Community College, members from the Chamber of Commerce and an official from the Florida Department of Transportation. Our Madison factory volunteers helped clean up US Hwy. 221 and US Hwy. 90.
- In 2018, we participated in a World Oceans Day clean up event with Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful. Volunteers removed litter and debris from the Hillsborough River. We also donated GarboGrabbers to help people pick up litter during the cleanup.
- Since 2009, we have participated in the annual Hillsborough River & Coastal Cleanup. For this event we work with other organizations to help collect data to identify the number and type of littered items, the overall tonnage removed from each site, and the amount of recyclable materials diverted. As part of the International Coastal Cleanup, the data collected is shared with the Ocean Conservancy, Keep America Beautiful, as well as local officials.
- Since 2011, we have sponsored the Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup along with NGO Current Problems, Inc. In addition to the $1,500 annual donation, we organized a team every year from 2010 to 2018 to help clean up three to five miles of the Withlacoochee River.
- We provide an annual donation of $1,000 to Keep Pasco Beautiful for its Great American Cleanup Event.
- Since 2004, we have donated $2,000 a year to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF IFAS) who are co-partners with us for the Hillsborough Trash Free Waters Partnership and the Suwannee River Partnership.
- We have been a regular sponsor of Audubon Florida’s Annual Assembly, donating $3,000 for the “Boots on the Ground” session promoting habitat protection, restoration, and management. In addition, we sponsored the Hillsborough Chapter’s Florida Birding and Nature Festival at Hillsborough Community College by contributing $500, water for the event, and secured Water Ventures for the duration of the event.
- For the past decade, we have donated $2,000 annually to the North Florida Springs Alliance (NFSA) to help fund their springs research and to support their infrastructure maintenance projects at Madison Blue Spring State Park. Other supportive efforts include:
- Since 2011, we have been a dedicated sponsor and corporate member of the NFSA.
- We paid for interpretive signs along the nature trail at Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park, as well as matched funds on cave-water Hydro-Lab sampling instruments and provided regular $1,000 donations for upgrades and maintenance on the instruments.
- We have been an annual major sponsor and team participant of the Madison Blue Springs Eco-Day Park Cleanup event.
- In 2016, we donated $2,500 to assist with stair replacement down into Martz Sink at Madison Blue Springs State Park.
- In 2017, we made a small $250 donation toward the interpretive trail at Lafayette Blue Springs State Park.
- In 2018, we donated $3,500 in a matching grant as seed money to replace the steps and decks at the main spring vent at Madison Blue State Park.
- Since 2008, we have been Grand Sponsor of Madison Down Home Days, donating $2500, a minimum of a pallet of water, and volunteers each year.
- In 2018, we presented a $15,000 check to the Washington County BOCC in support of the Culpepper Landing Boat Launch Restoration Project.
- In 2008, we donated $10,000 to help fund books, computers, and furniture for the Lee Library in Madison County.
- In 2011, we donated more than $20,000 to Lee Elementary School in Madison County toward the purchase of new playground equipment for the students.
We provide a wide range of financial support, sponsorships, and/or water donations to many local organizations and events including the Runaway Alternative Program (RAP) River Run event, High Springs Pioneer Days, County Alliance for Responsible Environmental Stewardship (CARES), Florida Farm Bureau Federation, Ducks Unlimited Florida State Convention, Hillsborough Schools, Polk County Public Schools Emergency Shelter, Florida Forestry Associations Conference, Associated Industries of Florida Conference, and the Florida PTA Leadership Convention.
When disaster strikes, we donate thousands of cases of bottled water to local communities to help provide safe drinking water. In Florida in the past five years, we have donated more than 3.3 million bottles of water to communities in need.
Bottled water is a readily available alternative in times where access to clean, safe drinking water becomes limited. As a bottled water company, we have a role to play to help ensure communities have access to water. We are committed to giving back to the communities in which our customers, neighbors, and employees live and work. We are grateful to be in a position to provide this assistance, and we support programs to help ensure water is always available when and where it is needed. Click here to learn more or to submit a request for a water donation.
- In 2018, we began partnering with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Suwannee River Water Management District and Madison County on the Madison Blue Springs Storm Water Aquifer Recharge Project. The goals of this project include addressing flooding issues in Madison County, increasing recharge to the Aquifer, and improving water quality. We committed $225,000 of in-kind services to characterize current storm water quality and existing infrastructure that will aid in designing a system to better meet project goals.
- In 2018, we partnered with the Northwest Florida Water Management District (NWFWMD) and donated more than $800,000 to the District to create a 309-acre conservation easement at Cypress Spring in Washington County. This easement enables the NWFWMD to create and maintain a public park at the spring. We are donating an additional $20,000 per year to help with ongoing maintenance costs and to provide recreation improvements and enhanced public access to the spring.
- We are national partners with Keep America Beautiful, and local sponsors of county and regional chapters in Florida. We are honored to support Audubon Florida and Ducks Unlimited Florida in their efforts to restore, preserve and protect Florida’s unique wetland habitats.
- We celebrate World Water Day in the communities we serve. Each March we hold educational events that promote the critical place that water has in our daily lives.
- Starting in 2008, we supported efforts to protect the Crystal Springs Preserve from a proposed landfill facility that many believed would have negatively impacted the preserve, spring, and the Hillsborough River. Following a positive outcome in 2013, we kept the stakeholder coalition together and in 2014, worked with Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful to create the Hillsborough River Basin Trash-Free Watershed Initiative. This initiative is recognized by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as one of five successful regional trash-free watershed initiative projects in the Gulf of Mexico basin.
- Our employees live our values of community and sustainability. This includes volunteering their personal time to various environmental and community service initiatives across the state including annual clean-ups and food drives.
- Employees participate in a variety of activities to benefit the community. Most recently, Zephyrhills factory employees volunteered at the Samaritan Project and assembled several hundred hygiene and food bags to distribute to the homeless. They also collected bags of food to donate to the food pantry.
- In 2019, at High Springs, our employees collected supplies for the Gilchrist County School System and delivered backpacks to Bell Elementary School.
- In 2018, our employees volunteered a day of service at Metropolitan Ministries Food Bank in Tampa to help with painting, organization, and cleaning around the food bank.