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Kids head to 'camp' for environmental training

Environmental educator Tom Gibson provided entertainment for a crowd of sixth graders Wednesday at Freshwater Festival. Gibson wrote a rap song about wildlife and performed it for students. Other presenters shared their expertise about water quality, Aquatic Invasive Species and trees.

Area sixth graders had the opportunity to learn about protection, preservation and conservation of water resources at the annual Freshwater Festival.

The festival is sponsored by funds from the Hubbard County Local Water Plan and local donations with administrative support from the Hubbard County Soil and Water Conservation District. It follows the same format each year.

At this event, each class rotated through stations where individual presenters shared their expertise. Presenters were volunteers from organizations such as Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Department of Health, Natural Resources Conservation Service and others.

In addition, paid professional educators include the Headwater's Science Center and Tom Gibson, environmental educator, shared their expertise.

Volunteers from the Coalition of Lake Associations assisted with various aspects of the festival from chaperoning classes to handing out snacks. Around 45 volunteers attend the event.

The Freshwater Festival was Wednesday at Camp Wilderness Boy Scout Camp near Emmaville. Students received a gift bag and tree seedling. They were shown how to plant their seedling by a DNR forester.

The goal of the Freshwater Festival is to educate sixth grade students about protection, preservation, and conservation of water resources in an atmosphere of fun and learning. Hubbard County has substantial ground and surface water resources.

These volunteers want to educate children about different aspects of these waters and their relationship to other resources: wetlands, forestry and wildlife and also want to instill an environmental awareness and a stewardship ethic in students and adults.