HCWA continues public outreach by trying to ‘WOW’ local students
(McDonough, GA – May 13, 2016) Fresh off of a successful Fix a Leak Week event at The Home Depot in McDonough in March and an Earth Day celebration at its Cubihatcha Outdoor Education Center in April, the Henry County Water Authority (HCWA) turned its public outreach efforts this month to the regional Children’s Wonder of Water (WOW) Festival.
Organized annually by the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District (MNGWPD or Metro Water District), the 13th annual Children’s Wonder of Water Festival was held on Friday May 6, at the Shamrock/Blalock Reservoirs and Community Use Facility, located at 2610 Shamrock Road in Jonesboro. This event welcomed approximately 700 fourth-grade students from south metro schools. The MNGWPD hosted another WOW Festival earlier that week at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, targeting north metro school systems.
The WOW Festivals coincided with national Drinking Water Week, which was recognized during the first week of this month, from May 1-7, 2016. The goal of the WOW Festivals is to provide educational opportunities for students in an outdoor setting that reminds them of the importance of water quality and quantity issues impacting local rivers, lakes and streams.
Organizers, which included staff from the HCWA, delivered key messages in the protection and conservation of natural resources, using fun-filled educational activities and curricula.
The south metro Children’s WOW Festival opened with a wildlife exhibit to introduce students to water industry topics and terminology. Students then traveled in groups to a number of stations for interactive water-related lessons.
In addition to the HCWA, other partnering utilities and governments providing assistance with the two metro Atlanta WOW Festivals included water professionals from within the Metro Water District, such as those from this Cities of Atlanta, Alpharetta, Roswell, and Marietta, in addition to County governments and water utilities from Clayton, Cherokee, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglasville-Douglas County, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett and Rockdale, as well as professionals from the National Park Service.
Students attending the two WOW Festivals included fourth grade classes from Pleasant Grove Elementary School in Henry County, as well as students from the school systems in the cities of Atlanta, Alpharetta, Roswell, Marietta and Douglasville, and those from county school systems in Clayton, Cherokee, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett and Rockdale.
The HCWA operates within the MNGWPD. Founded in 2001, the Metro Water District is staffed by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) and includes 15 counties and 92 municipalities within its ranks. It has implemented and enforced one of the most comprehensive regional water management plans in the country, thanks to the contributions and compliance of member utilities such as the HCWA.
Chris Wood, Ph.D.