Recycle Utah’s annual Water Festival returns
Thirteen years ago, the Park City Conservation Association, which is now known as Recycle Utah, began the Water Festival.
The idea was to bring H20 education to fourth graders who live in Park City and Summit County, said Recycle Utah executive director Insa Riepen.
"The festival is a by-invitation-only program and the way it works is that we send invitations to all of our schools, public and private, and to participate in one place and learn about the importance of water," Riepen explained. "It is difficult, at best, for our teachers to organize field trips, so I am honored to see kids coming to participate every year."
This year’s festival will be held April 18, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church and will be sponsored by the Snyderville Basin Water Reclamation District, The JEPS Foundation, and the Park City Board of Realtors, Riepen said..
The schools attending will be Another Way Montessori, McPolin Elementary, North Summit Elementary, Park City Day School, Parley’s Park Elementary, Soldier Hollow Charter School, Trailside Elementary, the Weilenmann School of Discovery and the city and county’s home-school students.
"St. Mary’s is graciously donating the whole building, including the gym, for the presentations," Riepen said. "We will be doing a morning session from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. and an afternoon session from noon until 2:30 p.m. The reason for two sessions is so we can break up a group of 500 kids into two groups of 250."
There will be 18 organizations giving 20 presentations.
"Each will last five minutes and the students will go from one station to the next throughout the sessions," Riepen said. "The presenters are from a variety of backgrounds, including the Park City Municipal Sustainability and the Park City Municipal Water departments."
The Snyderville Water Reclamation District is also on the schedule to discuss the importance of keeping drains clean and uncontaminated.
"Of course the fire district will be there, but not to show us how to climb a ladder," Riepen said. "They will be there to tell us about the water that is used to put out a fire, and how we need to be careful about our water uses. If something is on fire and there is no water to put it our, then it burns until it’s gone."
The festival will also feature interactive displays about water conservation and water contamination.
"We’ll also have fly fishers there to talk about the importance of clean water for fish, and they will showcase some of the debris they regularly find in the creeks when they are fishing," Riepen said. "And there will be displays that show connections between animals and water, by Wasatch State Park."
Riepen said water education is important for residents in the Wasatch Back, because of our environment.
"We live in the high arid desert and mountain region, so we need to worry about water, because it ties everything together," she said. "Since we live in Park City, we need to understand that the water flows, down from us, and what we do up here to the water matters. We need to be more educated and aware about water than those who live downstream.
"If we contaminate or are careless with our water up here, the people in the Salt Lake Valley will be affected," Riepen said.
For more information, about Recycle Utah’s Water Festival, visit www. http://recycleutah.org/water_festival.html.
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