Students, volunteers, and children all gather together for the 13th annual Water Festival on Friday Sept. 18th. Volunteers hope that more students can get involved for next year’s festival.
“College students that help with Water Festival are not only volunteering their time to engage with their community, but they are also receiving hands-on experience in water education issues.
This event helps to guide a future generation of decision makers toward environmentally conscious choices, and our college volunteers are directly involved in this process,” Environmental Educator, Allison Rhanor said.
The Water Festival happened towards the back of the campus by the dental building. This year about 450 children came to waterfest from eight different schools and were greeted with outdoor activities like canoeing, fishing, Japanese fish painting, bug collecting and geocaching.
There was a slight drizzle in the beginning of the Water Fest, but it cleared up and allowed everyone to participate in the activities.
“It’s encouraging to see the excitement in these kids as they learn about their local freshwater resources,” said Rhanor, “It’s a privilege to be able to provide this kind of enrichment to our youth.”
The whole event was organized by the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center. Part of the event involved asking students to bring extra shoes to be donated to the Shoeman Water Project. This project focuses on providing clean water to communities in developing countries.
Another one of the features that was provided at this year’s Waterfest was a man from Guatemala, Ruben Gomez, who is part of Mustard Seed Peace Project (MSPP). He talked to everyone about how important having clean water is and how dangerous it can be to drink or use unclean water.
“You don’t know how blessed you are to have clean water and food. I try to make the world conscience of how important water is, not only for me, not only for Guatemala, but for the entire world,” MSPP Translator, Ruben Gomez said, “You would be surprised how many people in Guatemala have to walk miles to get a bucket of water. Every little drop of Guatemala water has to be boiled, and there are lots of health problems from drinking dirty water.”