Monday, July 6, 2015

Anniversary Story: "Nebraska Children's Groundwater Festival" by Jessica Wheeler

"Nebraska Children's Groundwater Festival" 
by Jessica Wheeler, The Groundwater Foundation

The Groundwater Foundation founded the Nebraska Children’s Groundwater Festival in 1988 as a one-day event that focuses on hands-on learning for fourth and fifth grade students from across the state.  For 16 years The Groundwater Foundation sponsored and coordinated the festival.  Then in 2004 the Central Platte Natural Resources District based out of Grand Island, the home of the festival, took over organizing the event.

I participated in the 2015 Nebraska Children’s Groundwater Festival in May to present The Groundwater Foundation’s Awesome Aquifer kits to students from across Nebraska.  The students learned groundwater vocabulary, aquifer geology, groundwater’s connection to surface water, how pollution moves through groundwater, and practiced pumping water with “wells.”



I was inspired by the sheer size of the festival – the attendance (over 800 students and 243 volunteers/presenters!) and all of the different kinds of activities.  I was thrilled that students came to the festival with an understanding of groundwater and were eager to learn more.  Educating youth about our groundwater resources is so important, especially for an agricultural state where 85% of people get their drinking water from groundwater.

The fact that this festival has been teaching and inspiring students for 27 years is a testament to The Groundwater Foundation – the dedication and passion of the staff members that have worked to create a lasting difference.  I am proud to be a part of this organization and its commitment to educating and inspiring action to protect groundwater!

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15 Weeks Until the 2015 Groundwater Foundation National Conference and 30th Anniversary Celebration!

30th Anniversary Story Teller Sponsor
Marshfield Utilities


30th Anniversary Story Teller Supporter
National Ground Water Association

Monday, June 29, 2015

Anniversary Story: "Providing Groundwater Education for All Ages Since 1996" by Steve Bennett

"Providing Groundwater Education for All Ages Since 1996"
by Steve Bennett, McDonough County Groundwater Guardian Team, IL


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16 Weeks Until the 2015 Groundwater Foundation National Conference and 30th Anniversary Celebration!

30th Anniversary Story Teller Sponsor
Marshfield Utilities


30th Anniversary Story Teller Supporter
National Ground Water Association

Monday, June 22, 2015

Anniversary Story: "The Best Decision" by Jennifer Wemhoff

"The Best Decision" 
by Jennifer Wemhoff, The Groundwater Foundation

While searching for an internship my junior year at Doane College, I came across an opening at The Groundwater Foundation in Lincoln. I knew nothing about the organization, but connected with Doane alum and Foundation staff member Jonna Jackson (now Jonna Hernandez), went in for an interview, and started soon after, in January 2000. Little did I know the decision to take this internship would affect the course of my life.

I interned at the Foundation the remainder of my junior year and all of my senior year. Jonna was returning to school to pursue a Master’s degree, so I stepped in to her position as Groundwater Guardian Assistant Director when I graduated from Doane in 2001. 

The rest, as they say, is history; 15 years later, here I am.

2002 National Conference in Las Vegas.

Susan Seacrest, Catherine Chertudi, me, 
Cindy Kreifels.
Over the years at The Groundwater Foundation, I grew personally and professionally. I met my husband through an employee of The Groundwater Foundation at the time (Jonathan Mohr), who convinced me to go on a canoe trip down the Niobrara River in Nebraska (a beautiful, groundwater-fed river), where Mark and I met. I made lifelong friendships with people I met and worked with through the Foundation. My daughters were both born during Groundwater Awareness Weeks (in 2011 and 2014) and have been to many groundwater events. I’ve learned about the precious resource of groundwater and fostered a passion for protecting it, while educating others about what they can do. I love seeing the “aha moment” in people when they understand a groundwater concept or see how their actions can make a difference. I’ve traveled from coast to coast, gotten wet and muddy, spoken at large conferences and in small town halls.

The Foundation and I have seen each other through some tough times. Financial hardships, major life events, new homes. I wouldn’t trade the experiences I’ve had at The Groundwater Foundation for anything, because they have made me the person I am today, both at home and at work. That day in January 2000 when I accepted the internship was the best decision of my life.


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17 Weeks Until the 2015 Groundwater Foundation National Conference and 30th Anniversary Celebration!

30th Anniversary Story Teller Sponsor
Marshfield Utilities


30th Anniversary Story Teller Supporter
National Ground Water Association