1,200 Fifth-Grade Students Attend Clinton River Water Festival

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, City Planner

Clear skies and sunshine greeted the 1,200 students that attended the 12th annual Clinton River Water Festival, which was held on the campus of Oakland University, on May 11th.  Each of the 52 classes, from 21 schools within Oakland County’s section of the Clinton River Watershed, attended five of the 50 sessions that were taught by some of the region’s top professionals, who have firsthand knowledge on the important role water plays in our everyday life.

Sessions included an assortment of topics including pollution prevention, spill response, green infrastructure, aquatic animals, water fowl, plants, lakes and streams, water cycle, hazardous waste, recreation,and more.   When students left the festival, they not only understood how important it is to keep clean but also how to keep it clean, which is knowledge that will last a lifetime.

A special thank you goes out to all the employees and representatives from the following businesses, organizations, municipalities and government agencies who volunteered their time to present or serve as guides at this year’s festival.

2018 Clinton River Water Festival Sponsors and supporters include Pure Oakland Water, Waste Management, Oakland University, Oakland County Water Resources Commissioners Office, Clinton River Watershed Council, Cranbrook Science Institute, and the City of Auburn Hills.

A Look Back At The Clinton River Water Festival

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

If you happen to be a longtime subscriber of this blog you’re familiar with the strong partnership that the City of Auburn Hills has with Oakland University in educating tomorrow’s leaders.  For 11 years, both organizations have worked together to teach children about the role clean water plays in our quality of life and economic prosperity.

This past May over 1,200 fifth grade students attended the Clinton River Water Festival held at Oakland University to learn all about the number of ways that water impacts our daily lives … and the need to keep it clean.

Thanks to the 79 professionals who presented at the festival and the 40 plus Oakland University students who worked as guides.  The children were able to attend five of the 47 fun and interactive sessions offered during the day that covered a variety of topics including stormwater, soil erosion, habitat, wildlife, and pollution prevention.

The Oakland County Dirt Doctors prepares to demonstrate the negative effects of soil erosion

Oakland County Sheriff Don Nolen discusses the importance of water safety

Andrew Foerg from ECS discusses the environmental impacts of stormwater runoff

A special thank you goes out to all the event presenters, volunteers, and sponsors who made this year’s festival a success.

Water Festival Fun

Posted by – Stephanie Carroll, Manager of Business Development & Community Relations

On Friday, our staff attended one of my absolute favorite events at Oakland University – The 11th Annual Clinton River Water Festival.  Partners including, Waste Management, the Water Resources Commissioner’s Office, and the Clinton River Watershed Council come together to provide a full-day of activities for students.

The Festival is an educational and enjoyable learning experience for over 1,200 fifth-grade students from the Clinton River Watershed community schools in Oakland County.  As the conversations continue to revolve around sustainability and conservation, it’s important to recognize and get involved in programs like this.  Our very own Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner, was instrumental is starting this event at OU back in 2007— that’s something we are very proud of as a city.

The festival design allows students to learn about the central role water and the Clinton River play within the region. Some of the topics explored during the festival include storm water, waste water treatment, soil erosion, wetlands, creeks and streams, habitat, as well as sources of pollution.

The theme of the day is Celebrating water!

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 skeenan@auburnhills.org.  A special thank you goes out to our Clinton River Water Festival volunteers and our event sponsors Pure Oakland Water and Waste Management.