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Watershed Festival returning to Camp Samac

Grade 4 students will get the opportunity to learn from 120 volunteers

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

Local students will once again have the opportunity to learn about the local water system at the Durham Children’s Watershed Festival.

The festival, which runs from Sept. 23 to 27, costs $11.50 per student, and takes place at Camp Samac, 275 Conlin Road East.

Students will have the opportunity to learn about water and water conservation from more than 30 hands-on, curriculum-linked learning stations.

Each station provides students an opportunity to increase their awareness about the importance of water conservation, protection, technology and ecology.

It is not open to the general public, according to Yvonne Storm, special event coordinator for the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA), but it is open to all Grade 4 students around Durham Region.

Storm says the event saw approximately 1,000 students each day in 2018, and they are hoping for the same turnout again this year.

She explains attendance fees go toward paying for the festival.

“CLOCA is not-for-profit, so we do a lot of sponsorship requests, and donations, [as well as ticket sales],” explains Storm.

Recently, donors who contributed $5,000 or more presented a cheque to CLOCA.

Some of these companies included Ontario Power Generation, the Royal Bank of Canada, and more.

Through donations, Storm says CLOCA has already raised approximately 65 per cent of the funds needed for the festival this year.

“Each year, I spend about six weeks writing grant proposals, and asking anybody and anyone who may fund the festival, and we also have a lot of in-kind donations as well from different companies that will come out and volunteer at the festival,” she explains.

Storm says kids will learn different messages about healthy habitats in the watershed community, different ways water can be conserved, and other topics including climate change, water pollution, and more.

There will be 120 high school students and community volunteers running the stations and leading the kids through activities.

“For instance, a very simple one is where the kids will be brushing their teeth. One student will run the tap the entire time, while the other student turns the tap off when they’re not using the water,” she says. “Then they will measure the water that is used by both students… and calculate the amount of water that’s being saved by doing something as simple as turning the tap off when brushing your teeth.”

Other activities include an augmented reality sandbox, which allows students to learn about the watershed concept, and teaches them how water drains throughout the watershed and the impacts of flooding.

For more information, to register for the festival, or to volunteer visit