School is about to start but summer’s not over yet! Bring the entire family out to Prairie Creek Recreation Area on Beaver Lake from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 19thth to enjoy the 12th anniversary of Secchi Day, a free water appreciation science festival for all ages. The general public and the media are invited to attend. Just plug the address 9300 N. Park Road into your GPS — and you’ll travel just a few miles east of Rogers off of Highway 12 in beautiful Northwest Arkansas to arrive at this beautiful park on the lake. Look for the temporary signage along the road that will help direct you to the event.
Once there, visit the mobile aquarium, test drive a stand-up paddle-board or kayak, participate in the scavenger hunt and win door prizes, make a water testing device to take home, use colors and templates to make iron-on water messages for T-shirts and other items, make it rain on the watershed, and see how water flows impact water quality in the lake. A new addition this year is the emphasis on engaging the entire community. All ages enjoy this event, which is ideal for scout troops, families, budding scientists, K-12 up to college students, retirees, residents of the lake and individuals from all over the area. About 550 people attend each year.
“We’ll also have mini-concerts and CD giveaways featuring Water Fun Facts with Papa Rap (visit http://www.paparap.net to listen to songs). Children will be making their own handmade shakers (percussion instruments) from plastic water bottles and singing along in English and Spanish to original water songs based on the companion coloring book. Each family will receive a free CD, coloring books and other items,” said Amy Wilson, Director of Public Affairs. She added that the Marshallese community has been invited to table and show off traditional dance, while introducing some of their native culture and crafts. Northwest Arkansas has the largest population (12,000) living outside the Marshall Islands.
“It’s hard to believe we are in our 12th year,” said Wilson. “Our core group of lake volunteers (citizen scientists) collect water samples and get clarity (depth) readings at various pre-selected sites on the lake. The hands-on, lakeshore activities focuses on the importance of Beaver Lake to the quality of life in Northwest Arkansas. In addition to door prizes and a grand prize kayak donated by Cabela’s, we’ll have healthy snacks in the morning, followed by lunch (with vegetarian choices) and frozen treats. Beaver Water District is leading the way to ensure our community cares about Beaver Lake and values this beautiful natural resource. After all, it’s the drinking water for one in seven Arkansans.”
Secchi Day on Beaver Lake is named for the Secchi disk, a black and white device lowered into the water to measure clarity. In the early part of the morning, citizen science volunteers, using their own boats, collect water samples and take Secchi disk readings. Beaver Water District’s core partners who make Secchi Day a success include celebrity emcee Rick Katzfey, Meteorologist from KNWA, science experts, and volunteers associated with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Beaver Lake, the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Northwest Arkansas Stormwater Education, Hobbs State Park, Arkansas Master Naturalists, Beaver Watershed Alliance, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, Ozarks Water Watch, One Community, the North American Lake Management Society, and Girl Scouts Diamonds of Arkansas. For information, email email@example.com.