Water, water everywherePublished 11:27am Thursday, April 25, 2013
Wind Creek festival imparts water knowledge to fourth graders
Children from around Tallapoosa County gathered in Wind Creek State Park to learn just how important water is in their daily lives.
Tuesday saw the county’s first ‘Water Festival,’ which taught fourth-grade students throughout the county the importance of water and the environment.
Sabrina Wood, coordinator of Middle Tallapoosa Clean Water Partnership, said about 500 students from local elementary schools will attend the two-day event.
“We decided to sponsor and host a water festival. They’re all over the state and have been for many, many years. This is the first one in Tallapoosa County and we’re hosting it for all fourth graders in the county — Dadeville, Reeltown, Horseshoe Bend, and Stephens school in Alexander City,” Wood said. “It’s a free field trip to them. Wind Creek donated the location, so they allowed us to come here at no charge. We have all volunteers who are our presenters, our aides, our guides. It was funded by sponsors.”
Students learned about the water cycle, water conservation, and the animals who inhabit Lake Martin.
“It’s all related to water. We have the water-cycle bracelet, which goes over the water cycle with a fun activity. We have edible aquifers, which teach them about aquifers and our groundwater. We have drop in a bucket, which is about conservation,” Wood said. “Then we had an aquaculture activity, which they actually saw fish that come from this area, so they were able to see the different fish and species in this area.”
Wood said the festival serves an important role in that in fits in with what’s being taught to the children in the classroom and it educates them about the environment.
“This actually fits into a lot of their curriculum at school right now. Children, they’re just sponges — they suck this stuff up and they love it. If they can learn the importance of water conservation and things at this age, then they can carry that through life,” Wood said. “It helps our environment. It helps our whole pool of natural resources we have here.”
Volunteers helped present the different lessons to the students.
Among the volunteers and sponsors of the ‘Water Festival’ are Master Gardeners, Russell Lands, Lake Martin Resource Association, Alabama Department of Environmental Management, Alabama Treasure Forest Association local chapter, Lake Martin Home Owners and Boat Owners Association, Inc., the city of Alexander City, Wind Creek Parks Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Wood said she’s hoping the festival becomes an annual event.
“We hope that we can do this every year. Like I said, across the state it’s been going on for years. We seem to have gotten really good response. I think the kids are having a good time and the teachers seem to think it’s going well,” Wood said. “I think it’s going well, so hopefully we’ll be able to do this from now on. It’s just a great learning opportunity for them, and they get to get outside, enjoy nature, enjoy our lake. We’re very unique here in that we have an area that they can come to like this — other cities and counties don’t — so any time they can get out and enjoy nature and learn, we welcome that.”