Did you know that Beaver Lake is the source of drinking water for one in seven Arkansans? If you answered no, then this is the event for you! Bring the entire family out to Prairie Creek Park on Beaver Lake from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18th to enjoy the 13th anniversary of Secchi Day, a free water appreciation science festival for all ages. 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.
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 morning, citizen science volunteers, using their own boats, collect water samples and take Secchi disk readings.
“Our core group of lake volunteers (citizen scientists) collect water samples and get clarity (depth) readings at various pre-selected sites on the lake,” said Amy Wilson, Director of Public Affairs for Beaver Water District. “The hands-on, lakeshore activities focus on the importance of Beaver Lake to the quality of life in Northwest Arkansas. In addition to door prizes and a grand prize kayak, 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.”
Attendees can spend time with education specialists conducting hands-on science activities, visit the Beaver Lake Fire Department fire truck and first aid station, test drive a kayak, make a water testing device to take home, make it rain on the watershed, and see how water flows impact water quality in the lake. 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,” Wilson said. She added that the Marshallese community also is invited to perform traditional dance, while introducing some of their native culture and crafts. Northwest Arkansas has the largest Marshallese population (12,000) living outside the Marshall Islands.
Beaver Water District’s core partners who make Secchi Day a success include celebrity emcee Dan Skoff, Chief Meteorologist for KNWA, science experts, and staff 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, Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalists, Beaver Watershed Alliance, Beaver Lake Fire Department, Ozarks Water Watch, One Community, the North American Lake Management Society, Girl Scouts Diamonds of Arkansas, and The Ozark Society. In-kind sponsors include Harps Foods, Hiland Dairy, Cook’s Natural Market, Cabelas and Outdoor Cap. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.bwdh2o.org/education-outreach/secchi-day/.