Nurturing the next generation of water stewards
In September I attended an inspiring event the Metropolitan Council has been involved with for many years: the 19th Annual Metro Area Children’s Water Festival. I was thrilled to see crowds of fourth graders learning in a participatory way. A demonstration about stream bank erosion captured their attention and they were engaged in discussions about how toxins can infiltrate the water table with an excitement that only a 10-year old could really possess.
From the beginning, the Met Council has been a sponsor and participant of the festival. It’s an opportunity to expose hundreds of school children from across the region to the fundamental fact that all the water we will ever have is here right now and we must be good stewards of that resource.
Great interactive, hands-on displays help children learn that there are real consequences to failing to conserve and protect our water resources. While the scientists and water experts from the Met Council, the DNR, MPCA and other agencies do a great job of presenting, the kids also engage in the festival because they know they are learning about how decisions today will impact the world they will inherit in the future.
Gov. Dayton also understands that we’re making decisions about water that will impact these fourth graders when they are adults. He has declared that the next 12 months will be a Year of Water Action. He and the members of his Administration will visit schools, water treatment facilities, research institutions, and farms to encourage Minnesotans to learn more about the challenges facing our waters. You can be a part of this effort by signing the Governor’s Water Stewardship Pledge.
We are invested in water quality and we will be working closely with the Governor over the next 12 months. The Council plays such an invaluable role in water management in the region. I look forward to highlighting the work we are doing today and how we are planning for tomorrow.