On October 17, 2017, the Sumter/Marengo Water Festival was held at Wallace Hall on the UWA campus.  Fourth-grade students from Sumter and Marengo counties participated in the following three hands-on activities:  Watershed in a Box, Edible Aquifer, and Filtration Activity.  Each session was concluded with entertainment provided by the Fishin’ Magicians.  UWA once again provided student interns that served as presenters and tour guides.  A t-shirt design contest was held for all students attending the Water Festival and Samantha Parker, of Marengo Academy, was presented a $100 cash prize for winning this contest.  Her teacher, Anna Foy, was presented with a $50 cash prize.

The Sumter/Marengo Water Festival Committee had one very important objective throughout the planning of this Water Festival; that the students gain a better understanding of the importance of the water.  This was achieved along with forming partnerships between state, federal, and local agencies, private companies, and volunteers; and bringing multi-county schools together (public and private) to this education event.

Presenters were: Tiffany Baugh, Jasmine Burden, Macy Bush, Kimberly Campbell, Sommer Graham, Mellisa Grayson, Heather Jackson, Allyson Jacobs, Teran Jimmerson, Elizabeth Jones, Amber McDaniel, Haley Sizemore. Elizabeth Waddell, Bailey Weeks, Quenterica White, Alyssa Wrensted, Anna Brown, Shekiedra Cleaves, Andrea McGilberry, John Nolan, Kristin Phillips, Ladasia Rancher, Ashley Smart, Laprease Sparks.

Schools and 4th grade classes who attended were  Marengo Academy, Foy; Sweetwater High, Dixon, Glass; A. L. Johnson High Mr. Creer; U. S. Jones Elementary, Polk, Mosely, Lindsey, Duke, Kalhoff, Pittman, Bledsole; Marengo County High, Jones; Linden Elementary, Howard, Miller; Livingston Junior High, Stillman, Thomas, Sanders;  Kinterbish Jr. High, Randolph, North Sumter Jr. High, Hood; and York West End Robinson.

Special appreciation goes to the following sponsors because without them this event would not be possible: Alabama Power Company; Tombigbee RC&D Council; Sumter County Farmers Federation; Alabama Department of Environmental Management; University of West Alabama; Sumter County Board of Education; Sumter County Soil and Water Conservation District; Marengo County Soil and Water Conservation District; Sumter County Water Authority; and the West Alabama Environmental Services Center.  A special thanks to the Sigma Pi Fraternity and the UWA Baseball Team for setting up and clean-up on the day of the Water Festival.  For more information on the Water Festival program, please contact Mandee Carrier at 652-5105.

Pictures and videos by Kasey DeCastra, Sumter County Record Journal and Moundville Times Community News Editor; Story by Mandee Carrier, Sumter County Soil and Water.