For several years, HOBO helped sponsor a Water Festival for hundreds of local fourth grade children. The Alabama Clean Water Partnership organized and conducted the free all-day workshop for students and teachers that focused on the importance of groundwater and other fresh water resources and our need to protect our water.
The students participated in three interactive events:
BACKGROUND. In 1997, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) granted the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) with seed money to organize Alabama’s First Groundwater Festival. ADEM’s goal in the project was to educate children and communities as to where their drinking water comes from, how to protect it and keep it clean for future generations. Many counties in the state now participate. Chilton County was added to the list of counties in 2013. When the Chilton County Water Festival was being organized, the Lake Mitchell HOBO Board of Directors saw an opportunity to work with the youth in the county and to contribute to their education regarding the vital importance of water in our daily lives. Our HOBO organization became the first major sponsor for this annual event.
MISSION. The mission of the Chilton County Water Festival is to educate students and their families about all aspects of water and other related natural resources (i.e., surface water, wetlands, forestry, wildlife, etc.) and to instill in them a general environmental awareness and stewardship ethic. This mission statement is totally compatible with the mission of the Lake Mitchell Home Owners and Boat Owners (HOBO). Our HOBO mission is to preserve, protect and improve the quality of life in and around Lake Mitchell. Common interest areas shared by the two missions include water quality, fish habitat enhancement, litter/ pollution control, water monitoring and clean water for public consumption.
WHO ATTENDS. The Chilton County Water Festival is offered to fourth grade students and teachers. It is felt that this age group is able to understand water concepts, while still young enough to form their own value system. Hundreds of students are reached each year with fun and innovative messages of environmental stewardship and awareness during the 2013 festival event. Each fourth grade class attending the festival participated in three hands-on water activities.
THE PROGRAM. The Water Festival is a one-day free event. Upon arrival to the Festival, there is a volunteer to greet each class at the parking lot. The volunteer acts as “Tour Guide” for the day and takes the class to all their events/activities. The classes/students attend three 25-minute hands-on activities. There is a 5-minute break between each activity to allow each class time to walk to the next activity room. The classroom activities include
After the classroom activities, the students attend the “Fishin’ Magicians” Show, an ecology based water-related performance with magic tricks and illusions.