Lake Erie Water Festival

The Motherhouse was the site of the fourth annual Lake Erie Water Festival, held Tuesday, May 16. The festival hosted nearly 300 Monroe County sixth-graders.

The event was designed to help the students learn about our most precious natural resource – clean, fresh water.  By teaching them about water quality, organizers, which included the IHMs, River Raisin Institute, Monroe County Intermediate School District and DTE Energy, hoped to inspire the next generation to be great stewards of water resources. 

With support from the Monroe County Environmental Fund, this free program helped students appreciate the importance of water and how it affects their daily lives. Presentations included hands-on activities about water resource-related topics including ecosystems, social studies, the geosphere and the hydrologic cycle. Perhaps most importantly, students learned the central role the River Raisin and Lake Erie play in the region’s quality of life and what they can do to protect our water resources.

Students had the opportunity to learn about watershed animals, organic farming and habitat restoration in the historic setting of the Motherhouse campus. Other topics included Lake Erie birds; measuring water quality; beekeeping; macroinvertebrates; soil erosion; and bio-accumulation in the Great Lakes.

All participating teachers received classroom sets of a watershed education booklet from the River Raisin Watershed Council, with pre- and post-activities from the Monroe County ISD to supplement the learning experience.

Other presenters included Huron-Clinton Metro Parks; St. Mary Organic Farm; Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office; Monroe Conservation District; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Monroe Beekeepers Club; University of Michigan Dearborn – Environmental Interpretive Center; Stewardship Network – Western Lake Erie Cluster; Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge; Lenawee Intermediate School District TECH Center; Monroe County Historical Museum; and DTE Dive Team.

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