White Plains, NY -- You've probably seen water bottle filling stations at gyms, schools, airports, national parks and elsewhere. Now, you're about to see them at Westchester County Parks, thanks to a new measure passed Monday night by the Board of Legislators.

On Monday, the Board passed a $750,000 plan for the Parks Department to begin replacing old water fountains at County parks with modern refill stations.

Legislator Ruth Walter (D - Bronxville, Yonkers), who first proposed the program, hailed the unanimous vote.
Walter, who chairs the Board's Environment & Health Committee said, "I'm so excited that we are finally getting this project underway, and I want to thank my colleagues for their support."

She added, "Single-use plastic bottles are one of the most common things that pollute waterways and pile up in landfills. Anything we can do to reduce that is a huge plus. That means recycling of course, but also using refillable water bottles. Plus, if you're out at a park for a ball game, or a bike ride, or hike, you want to be able to take water with you, even if you're not always right next to a water fountain. Being able to easily and quickly fill up your reusable water will be a really nice benefit for park-goers."

Another benefit of the new fast-fill stations is that they will be freeze-resistant and can operate year round, where many older, existing fountains have to be shut off in cooler weather.

Parks Department leadership told Legislators on Monday that the department has taken inventory of all the drinking fountains in County parks and will use the newly allocated $750,000 to replace as many as possible with the new fast-fill stations. The department also will look to include in future capital projects the addition of water lines where feasible to add fast fill stations where water fountains may not exist at all today.