The Fifth Grade Water Festival is a tradition of collaborative education about pollution prevention and watershed impacts that began in 2002. It is an interagency effort between the RL DNR, US Environmental Protection Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Minnesota Department of Health, MN Department of Natural Resources, and Beltrami SWCD as well as other agencies in some years. Students have the opportunity to explore their watersheds, travel the various pathways of the water cycle, and learn about landfills, environmental contamination, nonpoint source pollution, and storm water. They also get hands on experience learning how fish, insects, and mussels are indicators water quality. The students learn how water affects tree growth and the importance of fire prevention. Teaching students the value of clean water and impacts of water quality degradation on habitat is a valuable step to promoting community stewardship. The Water Festival educates our youth about the importance of water resources on a watershed scale. The teachers and students from Red Lake and surrounding schools who have attended in the past have found the Water Festival to be fun, informative, well-planned, and entertaining.

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