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North Platte NRD hosts first annual Water Expo Saturday

September 6, 2018

SCOTTSBLUFF — A family day of fun and learning about water will take place this weekend as the North Platte Natural Resources District hosts its first Water Expo. The event will occur on Saturday, Sept. 8 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the North Platte NRD campus, located at 100547 Airport Road in Scottsbluff. The free event will offer a variety of classes and demonstrations, all in the bucket of resource conservation.

NRD General Manager John Berge and Water Resources Coordinator Scott Schaneman discussed organizing an water summit for the past several years.

“Finally, we decided we ought to meld the serious with the fun and developed a water expo,” said Berge.

The water expo is the first of its kind in the Panhandle with the purpose to inform the public about NRD water programs, challenges, education. Staff at the NRD have been working for 8 weeks to bring together a variety of speakers and activities related to water for the public.

“It’s a pretty wide breadth of information,” he said.

The day will include classroom exercises and demonstrations as well as children’s activities.

“If a parent wants to go to classroom classes or a demonstration, they can leave their kids with the daycare staff on scene,” said Berge.

Children will also have activities. They can participate in the sidewalk chalk competition, face painting and water-themed games.

The expo will offer continuing education courses for landowners to maintain their well licenses as well as demonstrations from wastewater and storm water drainage to pollinators and conservation. Berge will also lead two project tours where he will offer an explanation of issues in the Platte Basin. The first project tour and Platte River Basin issues discussion will be from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., with the afternoon session from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

From the public’s attendance, Berge hopes the public has a better understanding of what the NRD does as an entity. He also hopes they gain knowledge to apply in their lives.

“From the greenhouse tour or drought resiliency, I hope they take away knowledge and it sparks their interest in being a better steward of our resources,” he said.

While water is the focus of Saturday’s event, the public can also enjoy the 18th Street Farmers Market and Husker football. The Huskers will face the Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Berge said they have two designated parking areas for the expo. The main lot is south of the geothermal greenhouse and additional parking is across the road in the empty lot at the airport. There will be signs and parking attendants on site to help filter traffic.

There will be free lunch provided from noon to 1 p.m. at the event. For more information on the water expo, call the North Platte NRD at 308-632-2749 or visit https://www.npnrd.org.

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