Region 8 Students Learn Value Of Water Conservation

PARKIN, AR--As the weather heats up, many here in Region 8 will dive into a pool or drink a cool class of water to beat the heat. But what would we do if we didn't have H2O?

It covers three quarters of the earth, but how much do children really know about water?

"I thought water was water and you just drink it and take a shower with it," said Harrisburg sixth grader Katelynn Cheek.

"I knew I drank it and I used a lot of it and that is all I knew about it," said Harrisburg sixth grader Kyle Mitchell.

Students from Forrest City, Earle, and Harrisburg made the trip to Parkin Archeological State Park for the Make a Splash with Project WET Water Festival.

"I thought this was going to be boring because it's educational, but it has been really neat," said Cheek.

Cheek was one of over 300 students who cycled between 11 stations each touching on different aspects of water awareness.

"I'm not going to take such long showers and I am going to appreciate water now more. I am not going to waste it and spend like an hour playing in the hose," said Cheek.

The students also learned that the water they consumer has a trickle down effect on local wildlife like American alligators which are indigenous to Arkansas.

"We went to a gator station. It was so cute, the guy would rub the back of his head and it would relax," said Cheek.

Mitchell enjoyed the Arkansas Game and Fish exhibit and learning how rivers and streams are shaped.

"We get to stand up and move around. It's not just sit there and slump all day. We get to touch stuff. It's not seeing things, it actually getting to touch it," said Mitchell.

The event was put together by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality as a way of teaching the younger generation the importance of conserving water while they are still young enough to change their ways.

"They are still young enough to enjoy things as children, but mature enough to catch some of the more important concepts here," said Shea Lewis of Parkin Archeological State Park.

For students, any chance to get out of class on a warm spring day and still learn a thing or two is ok with them.

"Awesome, it's the best field trip ever," said Mitchell.

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality selected Parkin Archeological Park for the water festival in part because it is located right on the banks of the St. Francis River.