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Adirondack Waterfest was a splash of a good time that drew over 400 visitors to the Town of Inlet’s Arrowhead Park on Aug. 4. The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District organized the day-long celebration of water with support from the Finer Lakes – Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance.
“Storm clouds and a few rain showers dampened no one’s spirits at Waterfest,” said Hamilton County SWCD Manager Caitlin Stewart. “The celebration made learning about the importance of clean water fun and exciting.”
Fourteen exhibitors hosted activities and information booths that showcased small but mighty steps people can take to keep water clean. The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program’s Tammara Van Ryn spoke with visitors about how to prevent the spread of invasive species and the Adirondack Council’s Blake Neumann shared a clean water framework for Raquette Lake.
Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute Tom Collins ran the Junior Watershed Stewardship Program and Katie WhitKovits and Gabby Lewosko of Herkimer County SWCD taught about bank erosion with a stream table. Jen Denny represented Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation, and RaChelle Martz and Christy Wilt of Hamilton County Tourism highlighted the Waterfall Hiking Challenge.
Jamila Page of Cornell Cooperative Extension Hamilton County shared climate change education through cold-water fish and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department showcased boater safety.
Jennifer Temple of the Department of Environmental Conservation came with an air boat, and Gail Morehouse of the Raquette Lake Preservation Foundation shared information about invasive species. Paige Lamb of Essex County SWCD showcased drinking water testing.
WATER FUN FOR EVERYONE
KC Morrison of CampStore! popped kettle corn, squeezed lemonade, and offered a free kayak experience for Waterfest goers. Tom Bielli of the USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service displayed a ginormous inflated soil health tunnel. Kids lined up for face painting and balloon art with Victor the Clown and Bumble Dee. Visitors cooled off zooming down the water slide and enjoyed the bounce house. Hamilton County SWCD taught about the Japanese art of Gyotaku, and showed people how to make a fish print on rice paper.
“There are many to thank for helping make Adirondack Waterfest a tremendous success,” said Stewart. “This event would not have been possible without support from the Finger Lakes – Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance. I extend my sincere gratitude to the Town of Inlet for hosting Adirondack Waterfest, especially Inlet Tourism Director Adele Burnett and Parks and Buildings Department Head Michael Bartolotti. Hamilton County Tourism assisted with event promotion. Finally, the indefatigable SWCD team dedicated time and energy to ensuring visitors had an incredible experience.”