Anyone who knows me, knows I am a kid at heart. I love eating pizza for breakfast, riding on the biggest roller coasters at amusement parks and am OBSESSED with the Incredibles (I can't wait for Incredibles 2 to come out in a couple of weeks!). Last Friday, I got to experience the joy and excitement of 10- and 11-year-olds as they participated in the 2nd annual Pikes Peak Children's Water Festival.
It made me so happy to see how much fun these kiddos were having. More than 800 fourth graders from D-11 attended the event, nearly doubling the number of students who attended the event last year. There were 32 expert presenters on hand covering water quality, stormwater, conservation, supply, careers, safety and the arts.
Recent important water issues in the community, such as the Intergovernmental Agreement with Pueblo County prompted by stormwater challenges and the start-up of the Southern Delivery System, led to a collaborative effort between the City of Colorado Springs and Colorado Springs Utilities to bring a children’s water festival to our community.
Students experienced the world of water during this fun-filled day that offered a hands-on educational experience tied to Colorado Department of Education Academic Standards. The water festival provided critical education to these future leaders about the importance and value of water in our community through various lenses.
Learning about the water cycle, the differences between weather and climate and how to read rain gauges in a textbook is one thing, but getting to compete in a squirt gun contest to see who can fill their rain gauge the fastest in an experience these kids won't soon forget. That kind of learning can't hold a candle to a chapter on rainwater and evaporation.
The festival was sponsored by Colorado Springs Utilities, the City of Colorado Springs Water Resources Division, and multiple community partners: Pikes Peak Community College, School District 11, Pikes Peak Library District, Colorado Parks & Wildlife, the Catamount Institute and the Fountain Creek Greenway Fund.
Although I didn't get my hands dirty by touching worms, petting fish or buildilng landscapes to observe erosion caused by fast-moving water, I hope to be back again next year to let my inner child play to her heart's content.