Ark River Water Festival

General Information: 

Our event is school based and last year we had over 1400 5th and 6th grade students attend.

Date of our 2007 festival is pending it will be held at Charles O. Stones and Bernadine Sitts Intermediate Centers in Garden City, Kansas

Next Celebration Date: 
April 26, 2007

April 26 - 27, 2010
Event will be held at Bernadine Sitts Intermediate Centers and Charles O. Stone in Garden City, KS

VIP tour available?: 
Yes
Organizer(s): 

Connie Richmeier
connie.richmeier@ks.nacdnet.net
620-275-0211 ext. 3

Julie Jones
julie.jones@ks.nacdnet.net
620-355-7911

Festival Activities: 

We offer about 28-30 presentations including a visit every year from Ron Tibbetts. He is our main presenter all students get to see his presentation, on alternating years he is either the Bubble Man or the ScienceMan iac We also have presentations from the National Weather Service, Ks. Streamlink, KAWS, and many more interesting and informative presentations.

Our planning team consist of: Connie Richmeier- District Manager Finney County, Julie Jones District Manager Kearny County, Donna Maxwell District Manager Gray County, Loretta Cecil NRCS Dodge City, Ruth Drees Farm Bureau Finney County, Mureen Flax NPS Coordinator, Ford CCD and Liz Scheopner - Scheopner Water Garden City and Danny Rogers, K-State Extension.

Detailed Festival Information: 

The first Ark River Water Festival was held in 2001 in Garden City at the Intermediate Centers. The festival is a one-day workshop that focuses on all aspects of water. From general water quality issues to simulating rainfall, students are given the opportunity to take an in-depth look at this most vital resource.

Jennifer Long the former NPS Coordinator in Finney County really had the vision to start this festival after seeing one put on in Nebraska. She went in to the two Intermediate Centers in Garden City and talked to the principals about having the festival for a full day at each school. The amazing thing about this is that each school is just basically turned over to our committee for a full day. We bring in all of our presenters and just take over all of the classes in the school. We also bring in traveling students from Gray and Kearny Counties. These two centers their principals and staff are amazing.

We feel that our festival has been a great success, we are going into our sixth year and that alone is quite a milestone. Our festival is so successful because of all of the people involved from sponsors to presenters. Year after year they return to help and really enjoy it. The partnership between the three counties is also what makes this festival successful.

I believe the fact that we are allowed to just take over the schools to hold this festival is what makes our festival unique. Another thing that is unique about the Ark River Water Festival is that we service approximately 1500 students in a two-day period. We are the largest educational water festival in the state of Kansas!

The challenge we face every year is funding, we have been lucky to have our local county sponsors donate yearly but we are always trying to find different grants that we qualify for. Another challenge we face is trying to find a date that all three counties can agree on for their individual school.

I think some advise would be to use your local resources whether it be funding, or for volunteers. Community involvement is the key to making these festivals successful!

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