We are growing

Expanding in 2017
Big news! We are growing. In 2017, the Metro Area Children’s Water Festival will educate more students at its annual interactive educational program. For years more schools have registered to attend than could be accommodated.  At our 2017 festival, September 27th, we are expanding to reach 600 more students, an increase of 30%.

This year is also our 20th festival.  What a great way to celebrate 20 years of water education that by increasing the number of students that can attend.

Get involved
The planning committee is hard at working tackling the logistics of expanding an already large festival. We are seeking more presenters, more volunteers, more funding and we even have needs on the planning committee itself.  If are interested in getting involved, please contact us.

4th graders Visit National Parks FREE

The National Parks Service’s Every Kid in a Park program allows 4th graders and their families or 4th grade groups and classes to get into National Parks for free. Check it out and visit one near you!

https://www.everykidinapark.gov/

Teacher Training: Water fest learning for the classroom

The Children’s Water Festival Planning Committee is hosting a mini festival workshop for teachers. Learn activities and get resources to teach about local environmental issues and protecting water resources. This indoor/outdoor workshop is designed for teachers interested in learning curriculum and activities taught at the Metro Children’s Water Festival. Attendees will experience how many Project WET learning stations from the festival are taught and receive Project WET lesson plans to take back to their classroom.

View the 2016 flyer and registration form.

August 2, 2016   9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Mississippi Watershed Management Organization-MWMO
2522 Marshall St NE Minneapolis, MN 55418

Others who are invited to attend include formal and non-formal educators, university personnel, 4-H leaders, and youth instructors.

If interested in attending. Please return the registration form to Madeline Seveland, 600 East 4th St. Chaska, MN 55318 with a $25 check made out to Metro Conservation Districts by July 22nd, 2016.

Thanks

 

Our Water Rocks songs and lyrics available

Song files and lyric files from the Our Water Rocks Superstar Show are now available on our resources page. Scroll to “Stage 3” to download the song or lyrics for the following songs: Groundwater, Water Conservation for the Nation, or Tap Water Rap. Learn and sing with your students!!

Metro Water Fest offers a peek at water science

On September 25, 2013, over 1200 students from teh 7 County Metro Area attended the 16th annual Metro Area Children’s Water Festival.  The students attended a number of presentations learning many important lessons PLUS the most important lesson – water makes life possible.

Learning stations at the Festival (Met Council YouTube) include:

  • Water (Science Museum of Minnesota): Water is constantly in motion all around us, rising up into the sky through evaporation from rivers and oceans, and then falling back to Earth as rain or snow. Plants play a major role in the water cycle, drawing water from the soil and releasing it into the air through their leaves. One acre of broad-leafed forest may release as much as 8,000 gallons of water into the atmosphere every day.  (Lukas Johnson, Science Museum of Minnesota, school outreach@smm.org)
  • Singing Rivers: CLEAN IT UP is the refrain for the River Cleanup BoogieI went down to the river.  To catch me some fish.  But the mud in the water made my kids go “ish!”  I told them not to worry.  It’s been like that awhile when I said let’s clean it up and they began to smile LET’S CLEAN IT UP! (Scott Sparlin, yasure@lycos.com)
  • Water in Trees – How does it get up 100 feet: Trees are important to clean water because they help keep soil particals out of our streams, give our streams and lakes shade, and are a place for many bugs to live that our fish and reptiles need to eat.  But in order to be healthy, trees need water too. How do they take in that water and get it all the way up to the top of  the tree? What are the unique properties of water that help make this happen? (Teri Heyer, USDA Forest Service Urban Connections)
  • The House that Jack Built: Our drinking water comes from a local source.  Either a well or the Mississippi River.  It gets to your faucet by constructing a well or water system and installing plumbing and fixtures to keep the water clean and safe to drink.  (Richard Thron, Mantyla Well Drilling, richardthron@yahoo.com)
  • FLUSH – The Wastewater Story:  Wastewater must be cleaned up before reaching rivers, lakes and groundwater.  A home septic system or treatment plant uses physical and natural processes to remove bacteria and human wastes.  However natural processes will not remove household and industrial chemicals that are not found in nature.  Homes may dispose of waste chemicals safely by dropping them off at a household hazardous waste facility.  Businesses properly must dispose of their chemicals according to law.  (Patti Craddock, Central States Water Environment Association, pcraddock@sehinc.com)
  • Streams and Wetlands: The forces of water have a powerful effect on our environment.  Water is always moving to keep our environment in balance.  Streams carry stormwater from saturated/flooded areas.  Wetlands perform  important functions to store water, control flooding, clean stormwater, and provide habitat for waterfowl and reptiles. (Nanette Geroux, Metropolitan Council Environmental Services, nanette.geroux@metc.state.mn.us)
  • Just Passing Through: Vegetation helps to keep rain water clean by capturing soil particles carried by stormwater.  The roots of plants can absorb pollution keeping it from reaching water resources like lakes, rivers and groundwater.  Water is always “just passing through” but plants help to keep it clean.  (Linda Radimecky, MN Dept. of Natural Resources, linda.radimecky@state.mn.us)
  • The Water Beneath our Feet: In the “slice of earth” we learned that water collects in open spaces between sand grains.  Gravity makes water moves down and through sand, gravel and sandstone that are found in layers (called aquifers) providing water to wells.  Water is the “universal solvent” that will dissolves and mix with practically any chemical resulting in “water pollution.”   The trick is to keep water and potential pollutants from getting together. (Angie Hong, Washington Conservation District, ahong@mnwcd.org)A Model Stream: Water doesn’t just flow down a stream channel.  Water is the reason there is a stream channel! And, a flowing river, creek or stream has the power to alter the channel.  For more information check out River Model Clips or Healthy Rivers.  (Brooke Asleson, MN Pollution Control Agency, brooke.asleson@state.mn.us)Macro Madness: We all need water to survive, to drink.  Aquatic insects need clean natural water too.  Using benthic macroinvertebrates (water insects) we can tell the health of a creek, stream or river.  Sensitive invertebrates (like Stonefly Nymph, Mayfly Nimph, and Caddisfly Larvae) found in a stream indicates the quality of the water is good.  (Maggie Karschnia, MN Wetland Health Evaluation Program)

    Water Quality – Is Your Understanding Crystal Clear?:  Samples from different water bodies have very different qualities.  A lake is a standing body of water the permits sediment to settle to the bottom and temperature (thermal) layers and established in the water.  Water flowing in a river or creek is constantly on the move having very different characteristics.  (Laurie Sovell, MN Pollution Control Agency, Laurie.Sovell@state.mn.us)

    How Do Fish Get Mercury?: Like water, mercury can evaporate becoming airborne.  The mercury contaminates rain falling into lakes and rivers.  Fish become contaminated with methylmercury by eating food (plankton and smaller fish) that builds up in their flesh. Fish that eat other fish become even more highly contaminated. Thus, the fish most desirable for many anglers (bass, walleye and northern pike) are the most affected.  (Bruce Monson, MN Pollution Control Agency, Bruce.Monson@state.mn.us)

    Adopt A River Crime Lab: Trash on land and trash on the river.  The Story of Peanut (the turtle with a peanut shaped shell) is an example of the effects of carelessly disposing trash in the Mississippi River.  (Paul Nordell, MN Dept. of Natural Resouces, paul.nordell@state.mn.us)

    Watch it Rain!: Erosion is serious problem for both cropland and water quality.  Rain carries soil particles from bare land into ditches, lake and creeks.  Using conservation practices we learned how to manage our land and protect water resouces.  (Mark Zumwinkel, MN Dept. of Agriculture, mark.zumwinkle@state.mn.us)

    Water Pollution on Trial: Environmental regulations set water quality standards and limits pollution discharged from businesses.  There is a variety of enforcement options to stop pollution and clean up polluted water normally with the cooperation of the business or institution.  When there isn’t cooperation then there may be a trial.    (Joshua Berman, MN Pollution Control Agency, joshua.burman@state.mn.us)

    Buzzzz…Mosquitos!: When it comes to mosquitoes everyone has an opinion.  Separating opinion from fact is what science education is all about. Mosquitos belong to the Culex order that (like all flies) go through four stages of life: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.  Female mosquitos hunt for blood by detecting carbon dioxide and octenol emitted in the breath and sweat of warm-blooded animals, including us.  (Mike McLean, Metropolitan Mosquito Control District, mmclean@mmcd.org)

    The next Metro Area Children’s Water Festival is scheduled for Sept. 24, 2014.  Registration for the lottery drawing will open on February 1, 2013 and close on March 31th.  For more information contact Bart Biernat at Anoka County Environmental Services (763-422-6985, Bart.Biernat@co.anoka.mn.us).