Waterfest packed with family fun

Sixteenth annual event educates with free hands-on activities

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL—Boys at last year’s Bear Creek Waterfest enjoy looking at creatures of the creek up close at the microscope magic station.

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL—Boys at last year’s Bear Creek Waterfest enjoy looking at creatures of the creek up close at the microscope magic station.

Roll up your sleeves, grab a net and find out what amazing creatures can be found in most any creek or stream, and why they are important. Explore microscope magic, rain sticks, a fish pond, fill up with a pancake breakfast and don’t forget the rubber ducky races. The sixteenth annual Bear Creek Waterfest is coming up Saturday, April 25 from 8 a.m. to noon and is always educational as well as great family fun. It is held at Townsend Park, located at the corner of Ramsdell Drive and Cannonsburg Road.

Again this year the musical group Hawks and Owls will perform, giving a lively background sound to the many activity stations. A filling all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast is from 8 to 10 a.m. and a bake sale will start at 8 and stay open as long as there are treats to sell.

Cannon Township hosts this annual event with education in mind. Each year children are invited to pick up a “passport” and explore stations which have an environmentally friendly theme. Volunteers offer rubber boots and nets and invite youngsters to “step right in” to Bear Creek and see what they can net up. From crayfish to fish to interesting invertebrates, kids are aided in identifying their find and learning about the importance of healthy wetlands.

Among the stations are a rain garden booth, plant a native flower seed, a fish pond, rain stick (make and take your own), watershed information, ozone action display, a scavenger hunt and self-guided tour, a recycling information station and the timeless classic rubber ducky races.

As always, the activities are free, except for the breakfast, which is a bargain at $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 12 and under. 

ENVIRONMENTAL FUN—This young girl learns about backyard habitats at last year’s Waterfest. The half-day event is a great family outing.

ENVIRONMENTAL FUN—This young girl learns about backyard habitats at last year’s Waterfest. The half-day event is a great family outing.


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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.

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