The river that flows through the heart of Saskatoon is well celebrated, is used to keep the city beautiful and is a primary source of energy. What many people living here don’t realize is that it is one of the most endangered rivers in Canada from a study done by the World Wildlife Fund.
World Rivers Day Festival 2013, which takes over Frienship Park on Sept. 29, is looking to show everyone just how badly the river needs taking care of if the city continues to rely on it. It is an event that goes on internationally, but was stepped up in scale in Saskatoon with the state and importance of the river.
Administrator for Saskatchewan Eco-organization Amber Burton is looking to provide the information that people need to carry on sustainable lives in a fun, informative event. The organizers hope to deliver the information in a form that gets people excited about helping the city rather than sitting through a long lecture.
“One thing people always agree on about the city is that they enjoy the river valley. If they recognize that then they’ll want to conserve it,” said Burton.
The event begins at 8:30 a.m, perfect for those early risers who’d like to go explore some of the natural scenery that surrounds the river. Later risers can go to afternoon family yoga starting at noon to get the day going.
An event that has Burton most excited is the interactive water fair, which is held from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. This is where many of the organizations who are helping to save and preserve our river will be out for those who wish to learn more. These are the groups that the Eco-organization believes need to support of Saskatonians in order to keep the river sustainable.
Burton hopes that this will be a great way for people to get involved with various groups and give them much needed volunteers.
To make the fair interactive, there are going to be trivia sheets that can only be completed by visiting each area. Once the answers are all found the sheet can be handed in for the potential to win prizes such as paddling lessons from Coldspring Paddling, an interpretive tour for 10 at Meewasin Valley as well as other smaller items.
Meewasin will also be hosting river walks that will take place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. to show the true beauty and use of the river to those who may have taken it for granted over the years.
One final event will see volunteers assisting in in cleaning up the river, put on by Trash Dashers Saskatoon. The first step to keeping a sustainable water source is by keeping it clean and usable for a long time to come.
There’s set to be live music and spoken word presentations throughout the afternoon including musicians The Paddlewheelers.
World Rivers Day Festival 2013 is sponsored by Meewasin Valley and City of Saskatoon. For more information, visit econet.ca. In the event of rain ,the festival will be held at Grace Westminster United Church on Broadway.
Photo: Ario Madeny