Monday, February 7, 2011

Watershed Festival

For those who haven't faced waves of 5th graders flowing off school buses to learn about our watershed, you have really missed a thrill.  (Many reading this are familiar with the Watershed Festival - if so, read no further.)

From the JRBP
 The James River Basin Partnership (JRBP) is hosting the annual Christian County Watershed Festivals at Nixa Community Center on February 8th, 9th, 10th, 16th and 17th.  This is part of an effort to provide educational activities about watersheds to fifth-grade students in Christian, Stone, Taney, and Barry.

Over 2,000 fifth-grade students will attend festivals in participating counties.  Funding for the Christian County festivals is being provided through the Nixa Community Foundation Grant program that was awarded to the JRBP in February of 2011 and through a 319 Nonpoint Source Implementation Grant from the Department of Natural Resources.

The Christian County Watershed Festival will run from 9:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and will provide educational activities to over 1,000 students.

The watershed festivals are designed to teach students about a wide range of water-related topics through the use of five different topical stations.  Students will rotate through learning stations led by volunteer environmental professionals from many local agencies and organizations.  During their trip through the stations students will be introduced to concepts such as the limited amount of fresh water, groundwater flow, the impacts of human activity in watersheds, life in a stream and stream dynamics.

When students have completed all five stations they will assemble for a test to determine if they understand the concepts taught throughout the day.  After the test a fun, magical and comical performance is given by the Fishin’ Magicians who re-enforce key concepts the students have learned throughout the day. Christian County Festivals are hosted by JRBP.  Other partners include City of Ozark, City of Nixa, Christian County Soil & Water Conservation District, University of Missouri Extension, Missouri Department of Conservation, Project Wet, Master Naturalists and local volunteers.

More information on the James River Basin Partnership is available at http://www.jamesriverbasin.com/

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