Summer Naturalist Series 1: Water

Water is the pinnacle of summer fun, but frequently overlooked.

Near my wedding day in 2007, finding my usual place next to the water.

Near my wedding day in 2007, finding my usual place next to the water.

Regarding water, I’m quite a paradox.  As a Pisces who can’t swim, I find myself being drawn towards and away from water simultaneously.  Deep, murky water terrifies me more than a dark forest.  Yet I love nothing more than being close to flowing, constantly cycling water such as the streams and creeks known in the Ozarks.  Water moving across shiny rocks is hypnotizing, and few things are more fun than looking for life around the water’s edge – from ducks to frogs, they’re a few of of my favorite things.  Even a nice-sized, natural fountain can suffice if I’m stuck in a city for the afternoon.  I just find a rock big enough to sit on near the water, and immediately feel whole again no matter how many people pass by.  Water is a tough thing to pin down.  Our bodies are full of it, but it can be considered a resource “out there somewhere,” external to us, filling up our delightful swimming pools.  It’s a source of life, but also of destruction and death.  And despite these powers, aquatic habitats are the most fragile and vulnerable to pollution.

Play this online game to learn helpful hints for water conservation!

Water Trivia

Impress your friends with a few facts from the Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalist Hydrology Training!  “Hydrology is the study of the movement, distribution, and quality of water on Earth and other planets, including the hydrologic cycle, water resources and environmental watershed sustainability.” –Source

(Answers Below)

  1. True/False: The weight of all algae on Earth is greater than the weight of all terrestrial plants.
  2. Approximately what percentage of water on our planet is salt water?  And fresh water?
  3. What percentage of fresh water is our surface freshwater?
  4. The human brain is composed of what percentage of water? And our blood?
  5. How many miles of rivers and streams are there in Arkansas?

Organizations Working for Water

There are many non-profit organizations working on water issues within my local area of Arkansas.  These include the Beaver Watershed Alliance, the Illinois River Watershed Partnership, the Arkansas Water Resources Center, Ozarks Water Watch, and many others whose missions overlap with those protecting our water.  We’re lucky to have them, because so many people worldwide not only lack water advocates but lack safe drinking water, period.  Here are some national and international organizations monitoring water quality and protecting water resources:

UNESCO Institute for Water Education

National Drinking Water Clearinghouse (USA)

National Institute for Water Resources (USA)

Give a Kid a Summer!

Make a Splash: Help Protect Water

Lake-Appreciation--Cleanup-FlyerBecome a Clean Water Rainger with the Illinois River Watershed Partnership!  “Clean Water Raingers are kids that want to make a positive difference in their watershed.  Becoming a Clean Water Rainger is fun and it’s free for kids in kindergarten through 5th grade.”

July is Lakes Appreciation Month! On July 12th, jump in for a Lake Appreciation Cleanup, 9 am to 1 pm. Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area Visitor Center, 20201 E Hwy 12 in Rogers.  “Join us to pick up trash and remove bulky waste from the lake and lakeside area at Hobbs State Park. Volunteers can put boats in and paddle around the lake, as well as walk along shoreline areas at the park. Volunteers may bring their own boats for paddling around the lakeshore. Check-in begins at 9 am at the Visitor Center, and a free lunch and door-prize drawing will take place following the cleanup.” For questions, contact Rebekah Penny at 479-789-5000 or Discover many more cleanups, float trips and events on the Beaver Watershed Alliance.


Answers to Trivia Questions:

True, Salt Water: 96.5%, Fresh Water: 2.5%, Surface Freshwater: 1.3%, Brain: 80.5%, Blood: 90.7%, 90,000 Miles

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