Stream Extravaganza ends early because of weather

Thursday, June 18, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT
Five-year-old Madison Hayes investigates a Mink pelt during the Stream Extravaganza. The event featured educational information on streams and the wildlife that live in and around them.

COLUMBIA — Despite the stormy weather, this year’s Stream Extravaganza brought families together for 45 minutes to experience a muggy yet enjoyable summer night.

About 100 adults and children attended the fifth annual Stream Extravaganza on Wednesday evening at Flat Branch Park. The event, sponsored by the City of Columbia Public Works and Boone County Public Works, is a free way for families to learn more about watersheds, storm water and streams in Columbia.

Georganne Bowman, storm water coordinator for Boone County Public Works, said 25 to 30 volunteers ran the event and 15 to 20 people made presentations and ran booths.

At the event, children could practice with a fishing rod or have their faces painted. There were also animal balloons made by DeeBee the Conservation Clown as well as various educational booths run by environmental organizations.

A popular booth by the Raptor Rehabilitation Project included raptors, such as the great horned owl. The Raptor Rehabilitation Project is affiliated with MU College of Veterinary Medicine.

Elizabeth Matye, education coordinator for the Raptor Rehabilitation Project, held a great horned owl for the children to see.

Matye said an event like this is important to have, because children should get to know more about raptors and other wildlife.

“If we want to keep raptors around, we need to bring them out more so others can understand them and understand their importance,” Matye said.

Sheila Artis, a Columbia resident, said events like this are important because kids need to learn more about the environment.

Bowman said the event is meant to be educational yet entertaining for children.

“We have interactive events, like the fishing pools, and hands-on games that bring to life how important streams are to Missourians,” Bowman said.

Bowman said despite the weather, which caused the festival to end about an hour early, the turnout was impressive. She said doesn’t know if the event will be rescheduled.

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