MU Water Festival will teach importance of clean water

Hundreds of children from counties around the area will be attending the Marshall University Water Festival on Sept. 17 in Huntington.

The event will be featuring an array of workshops and hands on activities to encourage children to learn the importance of clean water and the impact it has on our lives and environment. Marshall staff, students and organizations across West Virginia are teaming up to provide a rewarding experience for the children.

“It’s an opportunity for us to do a craft that can lead towards educating kids about an important topic,” said Interm Sustainability Manager, James Baldwin.

“Different people will be doing different activities so for us, our department, it’s going to be doing a craft that we did at Earth Day this past year which is utilizing plastic water bottles that we have collected through our recycling program on campus. Kids paint the inside of the water bottle, we have googly eyes to put on the bottles and there’s a way to cut the bottle where it looks like a fish. It’s an opportunity to talk about what fish need to survive. There’s a big issue with plastic, especially being in the oceans and affecting the habit and fish. So hopefully instead of throwing plastic bottles away they will recycle them,” Baldwin said.

“It’s an opportunity for us to do a craft that can lead towards educating kids about an important topic.”

— James Baldwin

This is just one of many activities children can partake in throughout the day. In addition, at the water festival, children will tour the new Green Roof on the university’s engineering building, learn about ‘Aquatic Habitats’ with the New River Gorge National Park Service, take the ‘Incredible Journey’ through the water cycle with a representative from the Department of Environmental Protection’s Public Information Office, learn about ‘Acid Rain’ with DEP’s Division of Air Quality, run through the ‘Tree Life Cycle’ with the Division of Forestry and learn about the ‘Natural History of Snakes’ from West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, according to a press release from the West Virginia DEP

“It is important for children understand the urgency for clean water and the collaboration between healthy environments and communities,” said communications instructor, Anita Lane. “Workshops are a great way to encourage and shape ideas from a young age,” Lane said. “It is great that Marshall is growing this type of thoughtfulness for healthy living and healthy environments. Clean water is the foundation for clean living and learning how everything eventually gets into our water at a young age will surely implement healthier living habits and help to improve water conditions.”

The Marshall University Water Festival is sponsored by Marshall University and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

Brianna Paxton can be contacted at [email protected]