Elmore County Water Festival

Students from Eclectic Middle School watch as staff from Alabama Nature Center talk about the importance of the water cycle and clean water as it relates to wildlife at the Elmore County Water Festival.

The Alabama Nature Center (ANC) in collaboration with the Elmore County School System recently held the Elmore County Water Festival at the ANC in Millbrook. 

Nearly 800 sixth-grade public school students from Elmore County attended the event. Eclectic, Holtville, Millbrook and Wetumpka middle schools attended along with Redland Elementary.

The program was designed to address the Alabama Course of Study Objective for science teaching students about the water cycle and the importance and value of clean water and personal responsibility for water resources in an educational, fun and engaging atmosphere.

Students were exposed to water through a wide variety of activities.

Creek hike

A hike in Still Creek sparked a discussion about how humans contribute to the overall health of waterways, including our effects on water quality, erosion and pollution. Students learned the creation of drinking water is the result of a treatment/filtering process provided by our local water systems. They also saw firsthand what happens to precipitation when it reaches earth’s surface by tracing the journey of water from its source as a natural spring to its destination in a stream.

Aquatic life roundup

 Students explored the myriad of life that is supported by a pond by using nets to sample for animals that live there. Students discovered how animals adapt to aquatic life and how their survival is related to water quality.

Aquatic animal presentation

Students had the opportunity to meet several of the ANC’s education animals, including a midland water snake, turtles, salamanders and frogs.

Funding partners included Alabama Power Company, Goodwyn Mills & Cawood, Elmore Water and Sewer Authority, Central Elmore Water and Sewer Authority, Wetumpka Water Works and Sewer Board, Elmore County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Lake Jordan Homeowners and Boatowners (HOBO) Association.

The Alabama Nature Center, a hands-on outdoor education facility located at Lanark in Millbrook, is a joint project of the Alabama Wildlife Federation and benefactors Isabel and Wiley Hill. The Lanark property, state headquarters for the Alabama Wildlife Federation, contains 350 acres of striking forests, fields, streams, wetlands and ponds that are traversed by five miles of trails and boardwalks including a tree top viewing platform. In addition to the trails, boardwalks and pavilion, the Alabama Nature Center includes the NaturePlex, a 23,000-square foot structural facility that serves as the Welcome and Education Center. The grounds at Lanark contain five destinations: AWF Headquarters, Historic Lanark, Lanark Pavilion, ANC and the new NaturePlex. The Alabama Nature Center has a great partnership with the following: Alabama Power Foundation, City of Millbrook, Hyundai, International Paper Company, The Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation, The Daniel Foundation of Alabama, The Hobbs Foundation, US Forest Service, Vulcan Materials Company Foundation and Walmart.

Alabama Wildlife Federation is the state’s oldest and largest citizens’ conservation organization dedicated to the conservation and wise use of Alabama’s wildlife and related natural resources. To learn more visit www.alabamawildlife.org.