Rain Bird to bring awareness to water conservation through Rose parade float

Now in its 13th year of bringing awareness to water conservation and environmental preservation through its participation in the annual Tournament of Roses Parade, Rain Bird, a leading manufacturer and provider of irrigation products and services, will once again pay tribute to the central role that water plays in sustaining all of the Earth’s inhabitants with its 2009 float entry, Entertaining Expedition.

In accordance with this year’s Rose Parade theme, “Hats Off To Entertainment,” Rain Bird’s 2009 float entry, Entertaining Expedition, will showcase an African safari as Earth’s purest form of entertainment while promoting water conservation and the preservation of endangered species and the habitats in which they live throughout the world.

“The natural world is mankind’s original form of entertainment, and Rain Bird’s commitment to preserving our planet’s greatest resources is central to the company’s Intelligent Use of Water philosophy,” said Rain Bird’s Director of Corporate Marketing, Dave Johnson. “In showcasing this entertaining safari scene, Rain Bird aims to call attention to the greatest show on Earth, while bringing awareness to the vital role that water plays in sustaining all of the Earth’s inhabitants.”

Water will once again be a signature element on Rain Bird’s Rose parade float entry as Entertaining Expedition will feature over 1,500 gallons of flowing recycled water cascading over numerous waterfalls, while elephants, lions, zebras and giraffes frolic in a brilliant display of life. Highlighting the company’s corporate philosophy of promoting environmental preservation through The Intelligent Use of Water worldwide, the incorporation of water on Rain Bird’s Rose Parade float extends a Rain Bird Rose Parade tradition that dates back to the company’s first float entry in 1997.

Returning as float riders aboard Rain Bird’s 2009 Rose Parade float entry are animal enthusiasts Jack Hanna (who has ridden on Rain Bird’s floats from 1999 through 2008), Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Columbus, Ohio and host of Into The Wild; and Walter Crawford (who joined Mr. Hanna on Rain Bird’s floats beginning in 2001), Founder and Executive Director of the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis, Missouri.

“I am excited to once again have the opportunity to utilize the Rose Parade’s worldwide stage to bring awareness to the important role that water plays in sustaining all of the Earth’s inhabitants,” said Jack Hanna. “As I travel around the globe looking for wildlife adventures, I get to see first hand just how delicate the balance between water and life is. Even the slightest change in the availability of Earth’s natural resources can have drastic effects on all of Earth’s inhabitants.”

Fiesta Parade Floats President Tim Estes and Floral Director Jim Hynd bring award-winning float designer Raul Rodriguez’s vision to life as Entertaining Expedition will take the 120th Rose Parade’s global audience on an excitedly entertaining and educational expedition led by safari guides and float riders Jack Hanna and Walter Crawford. Perched in an open, four-wheel-drive vehicle, the pair will be seen embarking on an entertaining expedition that includes sightings of giraffes, gazelles, vervet monkeys, cranes and even the elusive cheetah as they traverse through the remote and diverse African terrain. The pair is soon stopped in their tracks as they come upon a group of magnificent elephants, one of which will shoot a stream of water from its trunk while frolicking at the edge of a local watering hole beneath the delicate branches of flowering acacia trees.

An assortment of materials will be used to create the realistic textures and coloration of the animals, including the use of black lichen, ming, fino and Spanish mosses, safflower blossoms, cordon puffs, marigold petals, coconut flakes, pharmitas grass, chive and onion seed.

Over 25,000 vibrant yellow Giant Oncidium orchids will be used to create the cascading acacia trees with trunks covered in malaleuca bark. Garden plateaus will be colorfully sculptured in waves of Kimi, Curcuma and Torch ginger, kniphofia tritoma, cymbidium orchid sprays and 50,000 florescent red-orange Mercedes roses intermingled with banksia and King, Queen and Pink protea. Sanciveria and flax plants, steel grass and rhamuns foliage will create the grass-like plants.

Rain Bird’s float chassis is specially designed and engineered to safely support the 13,000 + pounds of water constantly recycling and flowing over the waterfalls, and the realistic movements of animals will be accomplished with computerized hydraulics.

This will be Rain Bird’s thirteenth year as a participant in the Tournament of Roses Parade, having won eleven previous awards including the most prestigious award, the Sweepstakes Trophy, a total of seven times (2008, 2005, 2003, 2002, 2001, 1999 and 1998).

In November, hundreds of volunteers including Rain Bird employees and their families began the process of applying hundreds of thousands of fresh flowers and other plant material to Entertaining Expedition, a task that consumes a total of 10,000 hours to complete.

Rain Bird’s participation in the annual Tournament of Roses Parade is only one example of how the company’s focus on water conservation extends beyond products and services. Rain Bird devotes significant resources to its Intelligent Use of Water public education initiatives, which include a series of white papers, public service announcements, membership on the Alliance for Water Efficiency and the steering committee advising the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its WaterSense product labeling program, biannual Intelligent Use of Water Summits, The Intelligent Use of Water Film Competition, partnerships with nonprofit organizations, development and support of elementary and middle school curriculums and The Intelligent Use of Water Award program that recognizes leaders in water conservation.