PLA’S Annual Fresh Water Fair by Lyn Johnson, Manager
The Pokegama Lake Association will host its 17th Annual Fresh Water Fair, for 5th grade students, on Thursday, May 21. The Fresh Water Fair provides an opportunity for our PLA mission, to educate area youth on the importance of healthy, unpolluted lakes and rivers, to be taught in a fun and interactive format. Students learn how they can become stewards of the environment.
We have some good news to share! The PLA/Fresh Water Fair is the recipient of an East Central Electric “Operation Round Up” grant in the amount of $1,000. This trust money is derived from customers enrolled in the “Operation Round Up” program, which is funded by rounding up monthly customer bills to the nearest dollar. Thank you to our PLA members that participate in this program. For those of you not aware of this program, please consider enrolling because many worthwhile projects and organizations in our area benefit from the grant program. In regard to the Freshwater Fair details, the students/
teachers will arrive between 8:30 a.m.-8:55 a.m., with the learning stations beginning at 9:00 a.m. and the Fair ending at 2:00 p.m. This year we are expecting 412 students/teachers from Pine City Elementary, St. Mary’s Catholic, Hinckley, East Central, and Mora schools. We expect close to 500 people in total, including the 27 Learning Center Instructors and about 50 volunteers. Thanks to the partnership the PLA has with Pine City, the Pine County Fair Board, County Extension 4-H, VFW, and the Snake River Conservation Club, we are able to use their buildings and parking lots. The VFW building is home base for all the PLA volunteers, speakers, and school representatives.
The 2015 Water Fair will include the following Learning Stations:
Science Museum of Minnesota “Water Assembly”
Science Museum of Minnesota (2 classes) “Groundwater”
DNR Fisheries “Pine County Fish” with live fish netted from the Snake River
Pine Soil & Water Conservation District “The Incredible Journey”
Pine County Sheriff’s Department “Water Safety”
Audubon Center of the North Woods “Birds of Prey”
DNR Forestry, Mora “Forests”
Kanabec Soil & Water Conservation District “Soil and Water”
UMN Extension Retired Educator “Watersheds”
PLA (Marietta Jacobsen) “Would You Drink This Water?”
The Frog Guy “Frogs/Amphibians”
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency “The Real Poop on Sewage”
UMN Education/Sea Grant “Aquatic Invasives”
PLA (Al Johnson) –if needed “The Long Haul”
Volunteers Needed! As indicated in the preceding paragraphs, PLA volunteers organize and host the Fresh Water Fair. Thus, volunteers are needed. There are several areas to choose from and you can work as many hours as you want. Our organized and efficient team leaders are all looking for volunteers, for example: 1) On Wednesday, May 20 at 2:00 p.m., Jake Jacobson, Chuck Royce, and a team of volunteers will sweep and set up the buildings. This project typically takes about an hour and a half; 2) Pauline Royce, who purchases all the food supplies, needs help on Thursday, May 21 putting the food together and serving it to the Fair participants’ and 3) Marlys Kufner will meet with volunteers, willing to be school hosts, at 8:00 a.m. on the day of the Fair, and give them information about their tasks.