Clinton River Water Fest Overflows With Fun, Enthusiasm, And Education

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

For 10 years, the City of Auburn Hills has partnered with Oakland University, Oakland County Water Resources Commissioners Office and the Clinton River Watershed Council to educate students about the importance of clean water.  This year 1,282 fifth grade students from 23 Oakland County schools took part in the Clinton River Water Festival.  Students were enthusiastic and eager to learn new information on stormwater, wastewater treatment, soil erosion, wetlands, habitat, wildlife and pollution prevention.


The success of the festival can be attributed to the 52+ professionals who volunteered their time to present at the festival and the 45+ volunteers that guided the 50 classes to each session held on Oakland University’s Campus.

Students said that they learned:

  • To be careful where you place fertilizer
  • That 75% of the earth is covered with water
  • What a watershed is
  • That Sea Lampreys are an invasive species
  •  That only 3% of the world’s water is fresh water
  • Not to litter because it gets washed into the sewers that lead to rivers and lakes


New information and activities teachers can use in their classrooms:

  • How storm drains work
  • How water is cleaned and reused
  • What a watershed is and how it impacts rivers
  • How the water cycle connects with our everyday life
  • Information about civil engineering
  • Landfill organization


Over the last 10 years, more than 11,894 students have attended the festival, which is an amazing testament to its value in supporting the education of today’s youth and future generations.  We look forward to next year and the opportunity to teach a new group of students about the importance of protecting our water – our most valuable natural resource.  If you’re interested in learning more about the Clinton River Water Festival you can view a short video by clicking here.

For those who interested in being a volunteer presenter or festival sponsor, please contact Shawn Keenan at  A special thank you goes out to our Clinton River Water Festival volunteers and our event sponsors Pure Oakland Water and Waste Management.