'Water Rocks!' to Be Showcased at North Grand Farmers' Market

AMES, Iowa — Visitors at the North Grand Farmers' Market in Ames on Saturday, Aug. 25 will get to see the debut of the newest trailer in the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Conservation Station fleet. In addition, visitors to the farmers' market will get a preview of the new statewide youth water education campaign " Water Rocks!" that will be launched formally in spring 2013.

Conservation Station 3The Conservation Station 3 (CS3) will be located at the north end of the JCPenney parking lot from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visitors to the CS3 can participate in water-related activities, learn more about Water Rocks! and, for $4, enjoy a meal of pulled pork sandwiches, chips and a drink.  Meal proceeds will directly support Water Rocks! outreach efforts.

Designed specifically for school visits and outdoor classroom work, the Conservation Station 3 will travel throughout Iowa beginning this fall bringing the field trip to schools and engaging students, kindergarten through college-age, in many different aspects of water in their lives. Along with hands-on classroom activities, music videos, art, literature, video games and social media will each play an important role in Water Rocks!. Starting in 2013, Water Rocks! will have a website, “Rock Your Watershed!” online game, YouTube channel and Facebook page to educate and engage students through music, stories, photographs, art and public service announcements about water. The website also will feature Iowa students’ creative endeavors. The campaign expands the Conservation Pack (www.conservationpack.org), a youth conservation outreach program initiated in 2010 as a part of the Iowa Learning Farms.

Water Rocks! is a partnership of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA Section 319), and the Iowa Water Center. The CS3 is a partnership of all of the above agencies in addition to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the USDA Natural Resources and Conservation Service.