Groundwater Festival teaches kids to be stewards of water

Published 10:00 am Friday, March 24, 2023

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Fourth grade students from across the county will spend the day at the Annual Groundwater Festival at West Point Lake’s Hardley Creek Park learning about water conservation on May 17.

Stations will be set up to educate the students on everything from riverbed erosion to impact of pollution on fish. 

The festival’s aim is to teach students to be “stewards of our water resources,” according to Chambers County Extension Coordinator Rachel Snoddy.

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The Chambers County Extension is partnered with Alabama Department of Environmental Management, National Resources Conservation Service, Chambers County 911 and EMA, Auburn University Water Resource Center and US Army Corps of Engineers at West Point Lake to run the event. 

Fish will be taken from the river that morning for one station. Students can see the wildlife that could be impacted by pollution. At another station, the NRSC will bring an erosion/rainfall simulator to teach students about sediment pollution and how to prevent it. 

Students will also learn to identify fish and learn about water filtration, water safety and water cycles.

The theme of this year’s festival is “be a water hero.” There will be a groundwater festival art contest for the students to participate in based on the theme. The winner of the contest will have their art placed on a drawstring bag for each student to take home.

“This is the second year we’ve been able to do the whole county,” Snoddy said.

The idea for the Groundwater festival originated from the Morris Creek Project, in which the ADEM and Chambers County Extension worked to clean up the polluted river. 

“We saw that there was a need for educating people on the pollution of our waters,” Snoddy said.

There are many rivers and water resources in Alabama, many of which are resources not just to wildlife but also the human population.

“It’s very important for our citizens to understand how to keep our waters healthy,” Snoddy said. 

The event is partially grant-funded, but the Chambers County Extension will accept donations to help cover the cost. Donations can be sent to the extension office in LaFayette.