Annual Water Festival

Parry Sound sits on the shores of the largest group of freshwater lakes on earth. Over one hundred Grade 4, 5 and 6 students from Parry Sound Public School have a better appreciation of what that means after attending the 9th annual Georgian Bay Water Festival held on May 19th at Killbear Provincial Park. Local elementary schools are engaged in the festival on a rotating basis, with more than 1,200 students participating in the water festival over the past eight years.

The festival brought students together to spend a fun, educational day learning about water ecology and conservation, including local issues such as species at risk and water pollution. The activities help students become more aware of how water is used in their home, classroom and community. For example, a classic Water Festival activity is called From the Bay and Back Again. Students pretend to be one of twelve specific parts of a water cycle; from rain, to shower, to treatment plant, to Georgian Bay. Students determine the order of their water cycle then come up with a sound and action that represents their word. Once the water cycle is acted out completely, students discuss components of the water cycle, how clean, treated water is delivered to homes, and how water is continually reused.

Parry Sound High School student volunteers are key to this successful event; some are activity station leaders while other students help guide groups to their stations. “It is exciting to see the students taking on a teaching role and being so enthusiastic every year,” said Delaina Arnold, Education & Stewardship Coordinator of the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve. “It makes for an excellent day of learning and fun for the elementary students.”

Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve staff and the festival steering committee thank all of the partners that help make this event successful. Delaina Arnold said “We are grateful for the financial support of the Friends of Killbear, partner support from the Eastern Georgian Bay Stewardship Council, and volunteer time from the Parry Sound High School students and Mr. Graham Poole.”

Check out the Parry Sound Water Festival Guide – a ‘how to’ for running your own Water Festival!

Water-wise Tip

Check how much water your family uses and compare to the Canadian average.

  • Got to http://waterfootprint.org/en/water-footprint/ for information on what a Water Footprint is
  • Check out your personal Water Footprint: http://waterfootprint.org/en/water-footprint/personal-water-footprint/
  • Challenge your family to become below average!
  • National averages: http://waterfootprint.org/en/resources/interactive-tools/national-water-footprint-explorer/