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Water festival set for Young Deer Park
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Forsyth County News

A volunteer for the Family Water Fest describes the second annual event as an opportunity to "bring light to the residents of this county, that conserving water can be easier than you think."

Keith Furstenburg, who teaches at Midway Elementary School, will be helping with the festival, which is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Young Deer Park in northeastern Forsyth.

Sponsored by the county parks and recreation department and Keep Forsyth County Beautiful, the free event will include boat rides, games for children, food and music.

Event organizer Tammy Wright said there also will be an animal show and sand castle-building sessions in "a kind of laid-back, slow-pace environment."

"We just want people to come out, relax and have fun," said Wright, director of Keep Forsyth County Beautiful. "It's very informal."

Wright said the 2007 event drew about 150 people.

"We've done a lot of extra advertising this year, so we're hoping even more people will come out," she said.

Sharon O'Kelley of the Forsyth County Master Gardeners helped out at last year's event and plans to return this year with her husband, Jim, who will demonstrate how to build a rain barrel.

"I think that will be popular," O'Kelley said. "People have been interested recently in building rain barrels."

O'Kelley will distribute information on gardening with reused water. She said last year "the weather was gorgeous," and hopes for more of the same at this year's festival.

This year's event will feature an educational pontoon boat on loan from the Elachee Nature Center in Gainesville. The boat will take attendees on rides around the lake.

Wright said she hopes the festival will "help people stop and think about how important water is from day to day, both in the recreational sense and for survival."

Keep Forsyth County Beautiful is a department of the county that works to educate the public on recycling, solid waste reduction, litter control and protecting natural resources.

It organizes roadside cleanups and recycling rallies around the county throughout the year. It also works with local schools on efforts like the "Drink It Then Sink It," plastic recycling program.

Other notable events include: "Bring One for the Chipper," a Christmas tree recycling effort; a phone book and electronics recycling day; and local participation in the national "Great American Cleanup" to pick up litter off county roads.