Record Number of Students Participate in 21st Annual Water Festival

Article by: Rachel Sender, NGRREC/L&C Marketing and PR,


EAST ALTON – More than 900 fifth graders and their instructors participated in the 21st Annual National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC℠) Water Festival at the Lewis and Clark Community College’s Godfrey campus Friday, September 29.

Participants spent the day on campus exploring interactive booths focused on the importance of water.

“It has been so rewarding seeing students go from thinking frogs were gross and scary to thinking that they were cool and exciting,” said Jessica Mohlman, research coordinator and assistant scientist at NGRREC. “I couldn’t have been happier with the results from teaching about wetlands and the research we do at NGRREC.”

This year, classes rotated between 37 stations during the five-hour long event. Students enjoyed soaking up the knowledge and entertainment from nature hikes to canoe rides.

“Being a part of the largest Water Festival to date has been so exciting,” said NGRREC Environmental Educator Jolena Pang. “It is so rewarding seeing so many students having such a great time learning and laughing.”

“I hope Water Festival will continue to grow and spread to new locations, reaching more students,” she added. “I am so thankful to all the volunteers and exhibitors who have made Water Festival possible, because without them, the event could never happen.”

Supporting organizations included Illinois American Water, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the National Park Service, among many others.

NGRREC’s Water Festival is entirely funded by generous sponsorships. The event is free for all school participants including transportation costs.

Visit to learn more about Water Festival or contact Jen Mandeville at or (618) 468-2790.

Learn more about the Swarovski Waterschool visit or contact Jen Mandeville at or (618) 468-2790.

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 to 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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