Over 500 fifth graders from a four-county area attended the 25th Elkhorn H2O Daze at the Lifelong Learning Center on the campus of Northeast Community College in Norfolk this week. The water festival was held Tuesday and Wednesday, March 5th & 6th. Nine schools participated in the program from Antelope, Madison, Pierce, and Stanton counties.
"The festival allows the students to get involved in a variety of hands-on activities designed to promote awareness, knowledge and stewardship of our natural resources, especially water," said Julie Wragge, Information & Education Specialist for the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD). “Over the past 25 years we have been able to reach approximately 12,000 youth, educating them about the importance of protecting and conserving our natural resources.”
Each student attends five "aquativities" at the event. Participants build their own edible aquifer, launch water rockets, learn how water helps to make electricity, understand how water affects the body, learn about the importance of trees, and join in many other hands-on activities.
The schools attending this year were: Battle Creek, Osmond, Sacred Heart - Norfolk, St. Boniface - Elgin, St. Paul - Norfolk, Stanton, Zion - Plainview, Orchard, and the Norfolk Middle School.
Elkhorn H2O Daze is patterned after the Children's Groundwater Festival, the elementary water festival held each year in Grand Island, NE. There are now 5 water festivals that involve children from the across the LENRD.
Elkhorn H2O Daze is sponsored by the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD), and Nucor. Presenters for the festival come from various agencies, including: the LENRD, the University of Nebraska Extension, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Nebraska Public Power District, Nebraska Game & Parks Commission, the Nebraska Water & Environment Association, and Keep Norfolk Beautiful. Funding for this event was made possible by the LENRD and Nucor.