Looking for some low-cost family fun at Beaver Lake this summer? Well, look no farther! Just head out to Prairie Creek Recreation Area on Beaver Lake from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 15th! Join in the fun that’s planned for the 10th anniversary of Secchi Day on Beaver Lake, a free water appreciation science festival for all ages. If you’ve never been there, this is the perfect time to go. It’s easy to find – just plug the address 9300 N. Park Road, Rogers, AR 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.
Once there, you can visit the mobile aquarium, test drive a kayak, participate in the scavenger hunt and win door prizes, use a microscope, interact with live reptiles, make your own water testing device to take home, make it rain on the watershed, and see how water flows impact water quality in the lake. The emcee of events is Dan Skoff, Chief Meteorologist for KNWA/Fox 24, along with Dr. Bob Morgan, manager of environmental quality for Beaver Water District. They will be welcoming volunteer teams who will turn in water samples and water clarity readings that will be entered on the “Great Wall of Secchi” tote board throughout the event.
“This is the 10th year we’ve held this event,” said Amy Wilson, Director of Public Affairs for Beaver Water District. “We’ve worked hard to develop a core group of lake volunteers who are collecting samples while also welcoming the general public to our free event that focuses on the importance of Beaver Lake to the quality of life in Northwest Arkansas. In addition to door prizes, we’ll have hot dogs, ice cream and other snacks available. We care about this water. 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. They bring their samples and clarity readings in to shore where Skoff and Morgan record them on the Great Wall with lots of fanfare, something along the lines of a weigh-in at a fishing tournament.
Beaver Water District, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Beaver Lake, the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Hobbs State Park, Arkansas Master Naturalists, the Association for Beaver Lake Environment, Beaver Watershed Alliance, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, Ozarks Water Watch, One Community, and the North American Lake Management Society are co-sponsors of Secchi Day on Beaver Lake. Harps Foods, Hiland Dairy, and Cook’s Natural Market make lunch and ice cream possible. Outdoor Cap donates caps and visors for volunteers. KNWA is television media sponsor this year. Other businesses contributing resources and in-kind donations for the event include Cabela’s, Hog Radio, La Zeta Radio, KUAF 91.3, and Commercial Audio Systems.
Beaver Water District supplies drinking water to more than 300,000 people and industries in Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville and surrounding areas. The District’s mission is to serve our customers’ needs by providing high quality drinking water that meets or exceeds all regulatory requirements and is economically priced consistent with our quality standards. For information, visit bwdh2o.org.