Posted by Caroline Zawadzka
Landowner Contact Specialist (formerly Water Festival Assistant)
I wish they had a Quinte Children’s Water Festival when I was a kid! Who wouldn’t love to spend a day outside getting wet, meeting firefighters and police officers, and learning a thing or two about water?
This was the second year for the Quinte Children’s Water Festival, and I have to say, it was a huge success! Teachers, students and parent volunteers all walked away with a better appreciation for our most precious natural resource.
Classes between grades 3-5 from the Quinte and surrounding areas arrived at Centennial Park in the morning and were quickly on their way to discover over 30 hands on interactive activity stations. These stations focused around water conservation, protection and science, and were also linked directly to the Ontario Curriculum. But it wasn’t all about water in an environmental sense, we also incorporated water recreation, safety, and history.
One of the coolest things about the festival was that Trenton High School students ran most of the stations, acting as educators for the day. These students have been some of the best kids I’ve ever worked with. For one, this class is constantly on the go with their teacher Jeff McDougall. We met them for a brief training session while they were canoeing the Trent River and right after the festival they were heading out again this time to explore Mount Washington. These teenagers were able to quickly grasp environmental concepts in this short amount of time and relay it back to elementary students in a fun and dynamic way. There is no way this festival would have happened without the strong support from Trenton High School, who also had classes building some of the activity centres, and preparing the yummy lunch for the VIP luncheon.
But not all stations were run by high school students. Other community organizations brought their own ideas to the table. Some of these groups included:
, and 8-Wing Trenton Fire Departments, the Quinte West OPP, Ontario Power Generation, Ministry of the Environment, and others.
Polaris Institute from Ottawa demonstrated a taste test between bottled water and tap water. Was it tasty or nasty? You should have been there to find out!
Dick Bird a retired teacher who also builds Cedar strip canoes brought in an unfinished canoe where kids had an opportunity to nail on strips of cedar.
A scuba diver was on site teaching the kids about discovering the many wonders of the sea. Students saw what it takes to be a scuba diver, and had the opportunity to try on the gear.
The Batawa Ski Hill proved the impossible in trying to make snow in May. If there wasn’t a few tiny snowflakes for brief seconds they at least provided a good time as students splashed about after learning how air and water pressure with cool temperatures makes snow.
We also had our Chair Craig Kerr and Vice Chair Barry Cooper, proven water witchers, teach kids about water witching. Kids had a blast trying to locate water under the ground, and we had a blast watching them!
Thank you to everyone including the partners, sponsors and supporters who help make this a splashing success! For more information on our sponsors and partners click here.