The North Plains Groundwater Conservation District’s annual Save the Planet’s Water Festivals are almost here! The events are scheduled for April 17, 18, and 20. District staff and partners will start out in Dumas at the Moore County Community Building on April 17, visit Dalhart’s Rita Blanca Coliseum on April 18, and finish in Perryton at Frank Phillips College – Allen Campus on April 20. The water festivals are created to engage the 4th grade audience and train a new generation of water rangers to protect and defend water resources everywhere!

North Plains GCD is expecting about 900 students and teachers to attend this year’s water festivals across the three locations. Students will have the opportunity to attend seven interactive presentations during the day to learn more about water resources and water conservation. From games to hands-on models, the activities are aligned with state educational standards, so they provide valuable information that will help the students perform well when they return to the classroom. “It was a great review of all the water information students have learned this school year.” said Jantje Olson, Dalhart 4th grade teacher.

Back by popular demand, “The Green Magician” Kevin Barnes will entertain students with a grand finale magic show. Barnes has had a successful career presenting magic performances for entertainment only, but almost 20 years ago he decided to combine his concern for the environment with his love of magic to present environmental stewardship in an entertaining and informative way. “The magic show is always a big hit. The students talked about it a lot when we got back to school. They also remembered a lot of information such as the 3 R’s (reduce, re-use, recycle), conservation, Ogallala Aquifer, etc.” said Olson.

Other activities for the day include:

  • The Incredible Journey – Students become water droplets in the water cycle as they roll giant dice to see where in the water cycle they will go next.  Students make a bead bracelet that documents their journey, and they may follow up back at school with a story writing exercise describing their trip.
  • We All Live Downstream – Using a watershed model, students learn about point source and nonpoint source pollution as they add pollutants to a watershed and then “rain” on it with spray bottles to discover the effects of the pollution.  Students also learn about their local watershed where they live and how their actions can affect their water.
  • What’s in the Pond? -WTAMU Professor Bonnie Pendleton teaches students about aquatic organisms and the way scientists can evaluate the condition of a body of water by the organisms that live in it. 
  • Water Trivia – Students compete in a wild and noisy game of Q&A to see which class knows the most about water resources of the Texas Panhandle.

Of course, a presentation like the Save The Planet’s Water Festivals would be impossible without the help of a host of community volunteers, organizations and agencies who recognize the need for resource conservation. Current contributors include Valero McKee Refinery, Moore County 4-H, Dallam-Hartley County 4-H, Frank Phillips College-Allen Campus, Texas Master Naturalists – Panhandle Chapter, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Dumas High School Leo Club, Amarillo College Lions Club of Dumas, Dalhart High School, West Texas A&M University, and the City of Dalhart, not to mention individual community members.