Friday, September 16, 2022

Adirondack Waterfest: a splash of a good time

adirondack waterfestAdirondack 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 Finger Lakes – Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance.

Storm clouds and a few rain showers dampened no one’s spirits at Waterfest.  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.

Visitors speak with Paul Smith's College Adirondack Watershed Institute's Tom Collins under a blue tent and learn about invasive species spread prevention. Blue motor boat on trailer to right.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 and Olivia Sayre of Essex County SWCD showcased water testing.

Visitors stand under a white pop up tent around a metal stream table with sand and water to learn how a river flows with Herkimer County Soil and Water Conservation District's Gabby Lewosko and Katie WhitKovits.

Visitors learn how a river flows with Herkimer County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Gabby Lewosko and Katie WhitKovits

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.

Children hold colorful fish prints on white rice paper.WITH THANKS
There are many to thank for helping make Adirondack Waterfest a tremendous success.  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.

For a slideshow of Adirondack Waterfest, visit the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District’s website.

The District has been working to manage and promote the wise use of natural resources in Hamilton County since 1965.  For more information go to or call 518-548-3991.

Photo at top: A child with a dragon face painting runs to Ronny Raindrop, a blue waterdrop with white sash and large shoes. 

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Caitlin Stewart manages the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District. The District's mission is to manage and promote the wise use of Natural Resources in Hamilton County. Caitlin will be sharing the District's conservation-focused services, programs, and events. She’s been a full time resident of Hamilton County since 2008 and is an avid hiker, skier, paddler, and biker. She is obsessed with adventuring with her dog Artemis.

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