BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – Buckhannon RiverFest used activities and demonstrations to remind the community how important it is to take care of our water. Guests were invited to kayak along the river and hear from groups such as the Buckhannon Water Department and West Virginia Rivers.

“We want to shine a light on our water and make sure people understand the precious nature of our water and how easy it is to toxify it. We have industries in the state-chemical industries, gas industries, pipelines-that come through and threaten our water,” said event organizer April Keating.

They also had the opportunity to tour the water department and learn more about what they can do to help make sure their water remains safe.

“Because we only have a finite amount, we need to invest in industries that use less water or make sure that they have it in their business plan to protect the water,” said Keating.

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources used a snake exhibit to teach people how water quality affects animals and how to protect themselves in nature.

“It’s mostly all about education. We want to educate the public on the important role that snakes have in the environment and that West Virginia is home to only about 23 kinds of snakes, and we also wanted to show people what our venomous look like-the northern copperhead and the timber rattlesnake,” said Jim Fregonara with the DNR.

RiverFest is held at Riverfront Park in Buckhannon and was completely solar powered this year.