LEESVILLE — The Crawford Park District’s annual water carnival was Saturday Lowe-Volk Park.
Fittingly, it was big splash for youngsters who took advantage of the pools, slip-and-slides and other fun water activities on a bright, sunny summer day.
Families gathered to not only have some fun, but to learn about wetlands and how water plays an important part in daily lives.
Abby Ditomassi, a naturalist at Lowe-Volk Park, said the water carnival has been held the past 10 years and draws in people from all over.
“It is just to get the community out and visit the park and to engage in everything water provides for us,” she said. “We’ve got a lot of fun stuff, like water slides and things like that. But we also have canoeing, things that you can have an adventure with the water, and we have a pond touch table with animals that you can actually find in a pond.
“We also wanted to talk about our water and how it gets dirty,” Ditomassi added. For this activity, children gathered around a small kiddie pool that was filled with trash that many times shows up in water sources. The waste items included plastic bottles and other items they had to fish out to help make the water clean again.
“We talk about how we are dirtying up our waters and how the kids can help with that,” Ditomassi said. “We also have dip netting, so instead of taking the kids back to the wetlands we brought the wetlands up. The kids can dip nets to try to find animals like turtles and tadpoles that you can find in a wetland.”
Also, on hand was the Jefferson Township Fire Department, which let kids use a fire hose to play a round or two of water ball where the children used the force of the water to move a large ball on a zip line back and forth. Another fun activity was a water balloon slingshot for kids to test their strength and aim.
“The purpose of today is — number one — to get the communities out to visit the park, but to also learn how we interact with water in our everyday lives and show them things about the wetlands,” Ditomassi said.
Laura Lott brought her children to the water carnival and said they were having a great time.
“My kids love it … this is our third year coming,” Lott said. “My older one likes the ball (you get inside and float around the pond) and my younger ones love the slip -and-slide and the fire truck. And I also like how the kids are learning about water safety, too.”
Another parent brought her 5-year-old son and said this was their first year attending the event. She said she thought the event was a great way to get people out to have some fun and learn as well.
Kiley Kinsey, from Mount Gilead, brought her daughter to the event and said she was having a great time splashing away in the pools.
“I hope she interacts with kids a little more than she usually does and learns about water safety,” Kinsey said.
Kids of all ages races around jumping through the sprinklers, laughing with glee as they slid down the slip and slide. They also had time to enjoy the pond at Lowe-Volk Park in a canoe and got to hold turtles and even find small snails in the water.