NGRREC Receives $8k Grant from Bayer Fund for Annual Water Festival

Article by: Jared Smilack, L&C Marketing and PR,


EAST ALTON – The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC℠) has been awarded a grant from Bayer Fund, a philanthropic arm of Bayer in the U.S.

This grant will be used toward building a better future by increasing water literacy in the Lewis and Clark Community College District and adjacent communities through its annual Water Festival.

This year’s festival will run all day, Friday, Sept. 27, on L&C’s Godfrey Campus. An educator workshop will take place Monday, Sept. 23.

Swarovski Foundation Waterschool USA Coordinator and NGRREC Environmental Education Director Jennifer Mandeville said the education team is deeply grateful to Bayer Fund for their generous support of the festival through this grant.

“This invaluable contribution not only ensures more classrooms can attend Water Festival and lead to increased water literacy in our community but also empowers educators to effectively teach vital water issues in their classrooms,” Mandeville said. “Together, we are fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of water conservation and sustainability in our community.”

Mandeville said the festival educates students about ecological challenges and the importance of a healthy watershed. The grant will ensure all Water Festival educators are fully equipped to teach area fifth graders about the human water cycle, watersheds, and the importance of clean water.

Bayer Fund supports Bayer’s, one of the country’s largest life-sciences companies, mission of Health for all, Hunger for none by working with organizations and non-profits, like NGRREC, to deliver on shared goals and overall strengthen our country’s communities.

Bayer Fund is proud to support NGRREC and their work to make real, sustainable impacts in their community,” said Al Mitchell, President of Bayer Fund. “Programs like Water Festival inspire future generations for careers in the high-demand STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field, and we’re proud to provide our support.”

The Water Festival attracts hundreds of fifth-grade students and their teachers for a fun-filled day of educational activities and interactive demonstrations. The event, hosted with the help of local partner organizations, offers over 30 hands-on activity stations promoting resource awareness, canoe rides and fishing.

Water Festival promo video: To learn more about NGGREC’s Water Festival, visit

For questions, contact Jennifer Mandeville at

About Bayer Fund 

Bayer Fund, a philanthropic arm of Bayer in the U.S., is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where Bayer customers and employees live and work by providing funding for food and nutrition, education, and health and wellness projects. For more Information visit

About National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC℠)

NGRREC is dedicated to the study of great river systems and the communities that use them, facilitating the efficient implementation of science into policy and practice. Founded in 2002 as a collaborative partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Lewis and Clark Community College, the center aspires to be a leader in scholarly research, education, and outreach related to the interconnectedness of large rivers, their floodplains, watersheds, and their associated communities.

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