PELL CITY – The 15th annual St. Clair County Water Festival was held Tuesday in Pell City, and the theme was “Wild About Water.”

Charity Mitcham, administrative coordinator for the St. Clair County Soil and Water Conservation District, said there were more than 1,000 fourth-grade students and 44 teachers from across St. Clair County who participated in the event.

A local fourth-grade student, Mary McDuffie from Margaret Elementary School, was the winner of a contest for creating the logo for the T-shirts for all fourth-graders to wear the day of the water festival.

Mitcham said more than 100 high school students and local volunteers teamed up for an exciting and interactive day of learning.

“The students participated in three hands-on learning activities,” Mitcham said. “They focused on the difference between groundwater and surface water, the importance of water to all life, the water cycle, the interdependence of plants, trees, wildlife, soil and water, and the effect of human actions on water.

“At the end of the day, the participants attended the Fishin' Magicians water conservation themed magic show put on by Steve Craig and Amy Short.”  

Mitcham said it is important for the area students to participate in the festival because they need to learn the importance of healthy, clean water. The festival is open to fourth-grade students in the St. Clair County and Pell City school systems, as well as students in private schools.

This year, the festival had 36 local sponsors to help with funding and support. The St. Clair County Conservation District was able to supply water conservation education materials to all of the fourth-graders.  

“The St. Clair County Water Festival Committee is grateful for the continued support from First Baptist Church Pell City and Pell City First United Methodist Church,” Mitcham said. “Both churches have let the St. Clair County Water Festival Committee use their facilities for the past several years.

“Also, I would like to give a special thank you to Pell City Parks and Recreation as well as the Odenville Utilities Board for helping with the setup and teardown of this year’s festival.”

After the students have participated in the water festival, they have the knowledge of why it is important to take care of our natural resources, Mitcham said.

“Most of volunteers are high school students that participated in the water festival when they were in the fourth grade,” she said. “St. Clair County Water Festival is pleased to announce that they have educated over 14,000 students and had over 2,100 volunteers in the past 15 years.  The St. Clair County Water Festival received the 2016 Alabama Earth Team Group Volunteer Award.”

Contact Gary Hanner at ghanner@thestclairtimes.com.