Fourth graders learn about water at Big Sioux Water Festival

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Farm Forum

BROOKINGS, S.D. – The 24th annual Big Sioux Water Festival was held on May 10, 2016, on the campus of South Dakota State University. Approximately 1,150 fourth grade students from 29 area public, private, and homeschools were in attendance.

The festival provided hands-on activities and experiments led by environmental and water professionals. Students learned about water issues, conservation, aquatic life and how they can do their part in protecting the environment. Activities included investigating sources of pollution, learning why wetlands are important, seeing how satellite imagery is used by water scientists, the importance of riparian areas, and more.

The water festival also provided a Teacher’s Resource Room for the teachers to browse, offering water education ideas, information on professional development opportunities, and discovery trunks to enhance their curriculum. Event coordinator Deb Springman says, “This year we had folks from South Dakota Project Learning Tree, Ground Works, and the Izaak Walton League there to speak one-on-one with the teachers and to provide them with resources they can use in their classrooms.”

The festival is organized by members from the East Dakota Water Development District, the Brookings County Conservation District, and South Dakota State University.

Approximately 200 volunteers generously donated their time and talents to the event. The festival is financed through monetary donations from area businesses, organizations, rural water systems, municipalities, conservation districts, lake associations, and also through a small grant from the South Dakota Information and Education Program. The event was provided at no cost to the participants and the festival budget included funding to help schools pay for a portion of their transportation costs.

For additional information contact: Deb Springman, Big Sioux Water Festival coordinator at 605-688-6741. Visit the Water Festival website http://bigsiouxwaterfestival.org.