2011 Blount County Groundwater Festival - Water: Make Every Drop Count
By Mark Butler, Watershed Coordinator | Blount County, AL
Students build their water cycle bracelets.
The 2011 Blount County Groundwater Festival was very special this year, because this was the first year of many in which all the schools in Blount County were able to attend.
The Festival was held at Wallace State Community College on April 22. This year’s theme was “Water: Make Every Drop Count”.
Numerous water educators and enthusiasts from Blount County and across the state teamed up to present an exciting and interactive day of learning for over 800 students and their teachers.
The students participated in two hands-on learning activities. The first was the Edible Aquifer, a fun and easy way to understand the geology of an aquifer. Students built a model aquifer with ice cream, lemon lime cola, fruit snacks, and sprinkles. All these items represented different components of an aquifer. The students consumed their model at the end of the activity.
The second activity was the Water Cycle Bracelet that taught the students about nature’s recycling system. The students placed various colors of beads onto a bracelet. Each color bead represented the different step of the hydrologic cycle. After the activity, the students had a bracelet to keep and use as a tool to explain the water cycle to family and friends.
Students enjoy consuming their editable aquifers.
After the students finished their activities and lunch, they enjoyed a magic show performed by “The Fishin Magicians.” The Fishin Magicians are environmental educators that put on an entertaining magic show that teaches students all about water, conservation, and the environment. All of which reinforced the activities the students had completed earlier in the day.
Even before the festival began, students were preparing for the event. All the students had the opportunity to design the Water Festival T-Shirt. A special award was presented to Emily Baker (Locust Fork Elementary) for drawing the winning design. Emily was presented with a $100 gift card, a certificate, and her design was placed on all the Water Festival T-Shirts.
The 2011 Blount County Groundwater Festival was a great success again this year. It would not have happened without the hard work of our 80+ volunteers including members of the Festival Committee, the Blount County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), area utilities, local businesses, and the staff at Wallace State Community College.