Ikes Dive Into Sioux Falls Water Festival

Paul Lepisto, IWLA Regional Conservation Coordinator
Sioux Empire Water Festival 2019

Paul Lepisto at Sioux Empire Water FestivalMembers of the League’s Sioux Falls Chapter and national staff talked with youth about water quality and the importance of protecting water resources – for people as well as fish and wildlife.

More than 1,900 fourth-grade students from 38 schools attended the 26th annual Sioux Empire Water Festival in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, this week. The goal of the festival is to increase awareness of the many uses of water and to preserve its quality for future generations.

This year’s event was truly a “water festival” after winter storm Ulmer dumped nearly 2.5 inches of rain on frozen soil in the area, causing major flooding of homes, streets, and roads that prevented some schools from attending. Despite the massive storm, the League connected with hundreds of youngsters to talk about water quality and introduce kids to the League.

The Ikes distributed information on the League's conservation programs and the Sioux Falls chapter. The Sioux Falls Ikes have participated in this festival for many years. The students also learned how they can help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species when they are enjoying the outdoors to protect the future health of our lakes, rivers, and streams – a particularly critical issue for the Missouri River today.