Event celebrates and highlights importance of local conservation

MURRAY, Ky. — Murray State University will host the third annual Four Rivers Watershed Sustainability Festival from April 2–6, serving as a weeklong celebration of local water resources and the efforts being made to maintain them.

The western Kentucky region has a wealth of water resources that supply invaluable benefits for our local economy and communities. These resources also provide a foundation for unique educational opportunities and conservation efforts. The Four Rivers Watershed Sustainability Festival grew from the need for continued engagement in protecting our water resources and will set the precedent for future endeavors in the area.

The event began as a one-day educational summit in 2017 with three sponsors — the Jackson Purchase Foundation, the Watershed Studies Institute and the City of Murray — with some growth in 2018. However, in 2019, the festival will be larger than ever, with a week’s worth of events planned, thanks to numerous sponsors and partners. Murray State University organizers include the Hutson School of Agriculture, Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology, the Arboretum at Murray State and the Murray State Wildlife and Fisheries Society.

“Through this event, we hope to encourage our community to celebrate our abundant water resources and learn about local projects that aim to improve and protect these resources,” said Four Rivers Basin Coordinator Maggie Morgan.

Festivities will kick off April 2 with a Family Day at the Arboretum from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This day will feature interactive activities for children, such as Animal Tales with the Calloway County Public Library and Hooked on Science with Jason Lindsey, as well as engaging educational material for adults. Visitors can look forward to various giveaways, including free trees from the Calloway County Conservation District (while supplies last).

A summit featuring speakers from across the region will be open to the public on April 3 at the Murray State University Curris Center Large Ballroom. Sessions will focus on invasive Asian carp and wetland restoration, and will include time for questions from the audience. Throughout the day, a display of student posters will highlight University research.

Other events planned for the week include a special Cinema International film on Asian carp in the Murray State Curris Center theater (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings), a Project Aquatic WILD workshop on Thursday and a trash cleanup activity on Saturday. The week will end with a Beast Feast, sponsored by Murray State’s Wildlife and Fisheries Society.

For a full list of times and events, visit the Four Rivers Watershed Sustainability Festival Facebook page at bit.ly/FourRiversFacebook.

Photo: Murray State University will host the third annual Four Rivers Watershed Sustainability Festival from April 2–6, serving as a weeklong celebration of local water resources and the efforts being made to maintain them.


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