Students hope to help Ellis conserve
By ELIZABETH GOLDEN
ELLIS -- Already in a water emergency, the Leadership 310 class at Fort Hays State University is organizing the Ellis Water Festival, which aims to promote water conservation through education.
The event will be Thursday.
The festival began in 2007 as a way to present water conservation awareness to the community.
"Back then, the city was just starting to enter a water crisis," said senior Kimberly Voeller, a member of the Leadership 310 team. "They wanted to bring the community together and teach them how to conserve water, so we can get more water into the creek."
The four members of the leadership team organized the activities for the event, created flyers and collected donations.
The event will be comprised of several activity and informational tables for community members of all ages. The children will be able to experience edible soil while adults can play water jeopardy.
Cindy Xu, a junior, said most community members were aware of the water crisis, but they did not know how it affected their community.
"It's time to promote and raise awareness about how people are affected by the water crisis," she said.
Xu, along with junior Linda Wei, are international students from China.
"Water is very valuable, especially in China," Wei said. "When I go back, I can tell more people to know the value of water and conserve it."
The leadership team hopes, through their efforts, the community will learn the value of even the smallest amount of water.
"Growing up, my parents always pressured saving water and saving energy," Voeller said. "I think it's really important to understand every job really helps. Little jobs can save a lot of water, but most people don't think about that."
Several booths will display the value of conserving water.
"It's one thing to teach conserving water," Voeller said, "but it's another to actually implement it. I think little by little, even though it will take a while, I think the community will learn to conserve water, and we will continue to hope for rain water."
Voeller predicts approximately 100 people will attend the event.
The event is free to attend and will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Ellis High School. Free food will be provided. For more information, call (785) 726-4812.