Water Festival coming to UWA Tuesday

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 20, 2005

LIVINGSTON- Next Tuesday the University of West Alabama will host 700 fourth graders from Sumter and Marengo Counties to participate in fun hands on activities that comprise the annual Sumter-Marengo Water Festival.

During the festival students from Marengo and Sumter County schools will participate in classroom session and hands-on activities focusing on groundwater, the hydrologic cycle and the importance of water to all life.

Water Festival organizer Allen Tartt said the event is a way to educate the children in a fun learning environment.

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“Students will learn about the relationships between plants, wildlife, soil and water,” Tartt said. “We want to teach them how human actions affect our water and all nature and about the need for responsible conservation of our natural resources.”

The events organizers have planned several experiments and demonstrations that help children grasp the environmental concepts of water. Tartt said one of the most popular events in years past has been the edible aquifer.

“The aquifers have layers of ice cream, chocolate syrup, sprinkles and more,” Tartt said. “After the children build them, they get to eat them. Everyone loves that activity.”

The students will also have a special treat after the morning session. In the afternoon session comedian Steve Trash will conduct a magic show tailored to this age group. Trash, who has taken his act across the globe, will perform magic tricks with garbage and teach the students about ecology in his entertaining style.

Some of the events activities have already begun. Prior to this year’s festival, each fourth grader was given the opportunity to design a T-shirt for the event. The winning design will appear on the official Water Festival T-shirts, distributed to all students, teachers and volunteers. The winning student and teacher will each receive a $50 cash prize. Each teacher will also receive free posters, booklets and other environmental education materials at the festival.

Sponsors for this year’s event include UWA and the Sumter County Soil and Water Conservation District. Public utilities and local schools hope to use the event to foster a general environmental awareness and stewardship ethic in the children.

For more information about the Sumter/Marengo Water Festival or to volunteer, contact Alan Tartt at atartt@uwa.edu or 205-652-3803.