Friday, April 17, 2015

Celebrate "A Water Wonderland" at WaterFest on May 30th!

Every year Wilderness Inquiry helps hundreds of WaterFest visitors paddle voyageur canoes around Lake Phalen Park.

WaterFest, Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District’s spring festival of clean water, is quickly approaching! This year marks our 15th anniversary of this free community-building celebration. Each year several thousand people attend this collaborative event held in conjunction with St. Paul’s Get Out-of-Doors Day in late May. "A Water Wonderland" is the theme for this year.

WaterFest will be held at Lake Phalen Park on Saturday, May 30 from 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM. The festivities start off with Pre-fest lakeside yoga at 10 AM.  Our Water Wonderland Celebration begins
at 11:00 AM at the park amphitheater. Bring your dancing shoes and join the fun!

So what’s new this year at WaterFest?
CHAT (Center for Hmong Arts and Talent) will emcee and coordinate the
 afternoon WaterFest entertainment and performances at the amphitheater

Take a look at some of the new events and exhibitors below!
Water Games
  • Ups & Downs of the Watershed -  a life-size board game
  • Shrinking Wonders - a take-off on musical chairs
  • Water Expanding Machine - Tracy's invention will stump you!
  • Water Olympics - Learn secrets about properties of water.
  • A New Version of the Wading Pool - What belongs in our water?
  • Catch-a-Critter with a Net - Harriet Alexander Nature Center leads this
  • Discover clean water and get a free T-shirt (while supplies last)
  • Complete Passport activities and get your passport stamped for each one.
  • Enter to win gift certificates! Turn in completed Passport at the Information Booth.
Center for Hmong Arts & Talent - Amphitheater 1-4 PM

Obstacle Course led by MN Army National Guard

Flash Dance - Amphitheater at 11 AM

New exhibitors this year:
  • ZipCar
  • Minnesota China Friends
  • Muscle Busting
  • Local healthy food
  • Dragonflies
  • And more!

For a complete listing and schedule of all the WaterFest activities click HERE.

Check out our WEBSITE for additional details about volunteering and a map. Sign up to volunteer for a shift or two and then spend the rest of the day taking in all sorts of fun activities. For more information about volunteering, call Debbie Meister directly at 612-647-6816. 

Harding High Earth Club members make props
for the "Shrinking Wonder" water game.

Some of the "regulars” who volunteer each year
were asked a few quick questions about WaterFest.
Here's what they had to say:

Joe Fox
Who comes to WaterFest?

"I can't think of a better event that
brings families together
in a learning environment
about our natural resources.
The fun and games turn into an
education experience
for the young and old."
- Joe Fox
Joe has volunteered at WaterFest since 2000 when the festival first began. He oversees the parking and helps set up chairs with the North St. Paul Lion's Club the day before the event.

How'd you describe WaterFest to someone who's never attended?

Linda Nielson

"If you're looking for a free, family-oriented event,
WaterFest is the place to be!"
   - Linda Nielson
Linda Neilson, Ramsey County Master Gardener and District Citizen Advisory Commission member, provides a lively description of what there is to do at WaterFest. "Have fun on or in the water while you learn what you can do to improve its quality. Experience a new activity. Paddle a voyageur canoe, learn how to balance on a paddle board or take a paddle board lesson. Scale a climbing wall. Pet a snake. Or try out a tame activity like viewing the inside of a storm drain. Watch the Farnsworth Marching Band perform in the park. Meet your friends and neighbors. Have a great time! Those are just a few of the free activities we've heard visitors rave about!"
Wheel of Fun provides access to free canoes, paddleboards,
kayaks and other boats at WaterFest.

Linda goes on to highlight some of the other WaterFest activities, "Students of all ages lead hands-on activities and enthusiastically explain their projects. Experts are on hand to answer your questions about anything from native plants and their adaptability to survive with minimal care to how to identify and rid your property of pesky invasive plants. These and many more things can be experienced and enjoyed by all. And, did I mention that it's all free?"


One of the very popular activities for all ages at Waterfest is Dean Hansen’s display of large macroinvertebrates that he collects in east metro streams.
Shann Finwall, Maplewood
Environmental Planner
What is unique about WaterFest?

“WaterFest is a great venue for sponsor cities
to spotlight their environmental goals. 
In Maplewood, our Nature Center and
 Environmental and Natural Resources Commission sponsor environmental booths
to educate the community on clean water and
other issues that impact our watershed.” 

- Shann Finwall

Friends of Maplewood Nature Center help WaterFest visitors create pollinator hats to educate about the issue of neonicotinoids and other threats to bees and butterflies.

Debbie Meister and husband take a well-deserved lunch break.

“WaterFest is
a wonderful combination
of fun and information.”  
- Gene Christenson,
husband of Debbie Meister,

WaterFest Consultant

We’re sure Gene is up on the nitty-gritty of WaterFest minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day. After all he’s the husband of Debbie Meister, the lead coordinator for this event. Preparing for WaterFest takes many months. We appreciate all the hard work and creativity that Debbie puts into this event and thank her and Gene and the many other volunteers, exhibitors and partners who help out in a lot of different capacities at this event each year. Thank you too to all our contributors who help out financially. 

The Minnesota Well-Diggers Association lends their water
droplet costume for use at WaterFest each year.
But don’t just take these “experts” at their word. Come and check it out for yourself!
We guarantee that you will enjoy WaterFest! And invite your friends and families to join you too!
Check out the complete WaterFest SCHEDULE and then join us for a celebration of A Water Wonderland at WaterFest 2015!


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