HCWA hosts Youth Leadership Henry Class

When Lindsey Sanders asks people if they know where their water comes from, most don’t have any idea. 

Hence, the importance of the Henry County Water Authority (HCWA) hosting this year’s Youth Leadership Henry class for a tour and service project at the HCWA Cubihatcha Outdoor Education Center on Saturday, March 20.

As the Environmental Compliance Coordinator for the HCWA, Sanders is at the forefront of the utility’s public education and outreach efforts. She and members of the Cubihatcha staff provided Youth Leadership Henry students with an in-depth overview of how the Authority provides the community with clean, safe drinking water and sewer collection and treatment services. The students also received insights on what career opportunities might be available to them in the water industry.

In addition, the Youth Leadership Henry students received a lesson on nature’s watersheds, the importance of wise water use and the protection of water quality, as well as how they could help preserve their community’s natural resources. The students then put this newfound knowledge into action, completing a service project to decorate Gourds for Purple Martins and to install Bluebird Boxes, providing safe habitats for these species of birds that are prevalent at the Cubihatcha Center, with these efforts contributing directly to the Authority’s ongoing conservation efforts.  

“I think the students were impressed with everything that the Water Authority does to protect our watersheds and natural resources, as well as how we maintain all of the land surrounding our reservoirs, which provides protected buffers for our water resources and 

habitat for many species of birds and other animals,” says Sanders. “It was great to be able to show them their watershed on a map and educate them on how they can protect their own.”

The HCWA is on the list of critical government entities, agencies, authorities and/or businesses that host Youth Leadership Henry classes each year. The purpose of these site visits and informative sessions is to educate these future community leaders about the critical organizations that assist in the economic development and quality of life of their home county. 

“The students really thought it was cool how the Authority works actively each year to replace lost habitat for fauna and they liked being a part of the mitigation process,” says Don Dunlap, Chairman of Youth Leadership Henry, when reflecting on the students’ service project.

Youth Leadership Henry is a leadership program for high school sophomores, sponsored by the Henry County Chamber of Commerce. The purpose of Youth Leadership Henry is to identify emerging leaders, bring them together in an atmosphere conducive to the free exchange of ideas, and provide them with an enlightening educational experience.

Youth Leadership Henry participants are taught leadership skills, while learning about the various government, economic, and social sectors of the community. Its goal is to cultivate knowledgeable future leaders, public servants, elected officials, and engaged citizens.

“We are happy to host students from this year’s Youth Leadership Henry program for a site visit to our Cubihatcha Center, because they are the future leaders of our community who will be responsible for overseeing critical public services such as those that we provide,” says Lindy Farmer, HCWA General Manager. “These students can have a direct, positive impact on continuing the legacy we’ve tried to build as a model water utility that invests in water professionals, as well as facilities and processes necessary to provide the very best water and sewer services for our community for generations to come.” 


Captions for photos

Top photo:

Nearly a dozen Youth Leadership Henry Students spent a Saturday learning about the role the Henry County Water Authority plays in the community, while assisting the staff at the Cubihatcha Outdoor Education Center with a service project to install bluebird houses and decorate Gourds for Purple Martin birds on site.

Second photo:

Jeffrey Scott, a naturalist with the HCWA Cubihatcha Outdoor Education Center, teaches Youth Leadership Henry students about the wildlife that can be found in and around the area.

Third photo:

Zeb Brown, naturalist with the HCWA Cubihatcha Outdoor Education Center, assists students with preparing Gourds to be decorated prior to being installed to provide shelter for Purple Martin birds who are migrating through the region.

Bottom photo:

Jeffrey Scott, naturalist with the HCWA Cubihatcha Outdoor Education Center, shows Youth Leadership Henry students how bluebirds build nests in the boxes they installed around the site of the nature center.


Media contact:            

Chris Wood, Ph.D.

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