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City of Lincoln
Mayor's Department
Citizen Information Center Division
2000 Media Release


March 23, 2000
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Nan Welsh, Lincoln Water System, 441-7571 (busboards) John Chess, Health Department, 441-8027 (festival)

Mayor Promotes Water Conservation AT Earth Wellness Festival

Winners of busboard competition honored

At a news conference today at the Earth Wellness Festival, Mayor Don Wesely praised the educational event for students and announced the winners of a busboard competition to promote water conservation.

"Our young people are the citizens and voters of tomorrow," Wesely said at the Festival at Southeast Community College. "If they are to make intelligent decisions about the environment, they must be taught not only scientific facts, but to value and respect our natural resources. They must also be given the opportunity to practice what they have learned in real-life situations."

The busboard competition, sponsored by the Water Conservation Task Force, gave all fifth-graders in Lincoln the opportunity to design a water conservation advertisement to be displayed on buses. The first-place winner was Kellyn Wooten of Rousseau Elementary, and her message will be displayed on StarTran and Houch Motorcoach buses this month and next. Katherine Westendorf of Blessed Sacrament School won second place, and Bryce Petersen of Ruth Hill Elementary won third place.

The Earth Wellness Festival began in the spring of 1994 when teachers in the Lincoln Public Schools identified the need for a local water festival similar to the annual Groundwater Festival in Grand Island. Counting today's attendance, more than 20,000 fifth-grade students have participated in the Earth Wellness Festival over its six years of existence.

Wesely read a proclamation declaring today Earth Wellness Festival Day in Lincoln, and he praised the businesses, schools, government agencies and volunteers who make the Festival possible.

"As a result of the hard work from the organizers and supporters of the Earth Wellness Festival, our kids are gaining a better understanding of our environment and the way air, land, water and living resources are all related," Wesely said. "This is a significant contribution to the future of our community and maintaining the environmental quality we enjoy in Lincoln."

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