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Water bugs, dancing and craft at free Family River Day

The community is invited to a fun, interactive Family River Day on Sunday, 26 October, from 10am to 3pm at Finnan Park, Grahamstown Dam to celebrate National Water Week.

Organised by Hunter Local Land Services (LLS) and supported by Hunter Water, the free Family River Day will take place at the region's largest drinking water supply, Grahamstown Dam, just 20 minutes from the Newcastle CBD.

Live entertainment and free activities will keep all ages entertained, along with interactive displays, craft, giveaways and more.

Families will be able to learn about marine debris, discover where water comes from, test a water sample and explore water bugs up close, and meet local native reptiles and mascot Platypus Pete.

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service rangers will be on hand to demonstrate traditional Aboriginal dancing.

The Family River Day is one of a range of projects being undertaken as part of a school engagement project, a partnership between Hunter Water and Hunter LLS. The project educates school students living in the Hunter's drinking water catchments about how they can help improve catchment health.

Hunter LLS School Engagement Officer, Jane Lloyd-Jones said the event aims to highlight the importance of protecting our drinking water catchments.

'We want people to be aware of the threats to our catchments and the impact litter and debris can have on them. We are all responsible for looking after our catchments which supply our drinking water.'

Mrs Lloyd-Jones said there would be activities to suit everyone at the festival including 'Nuts about Nature' craft, story time for kids, water testing and water bug identification. There will be live entertainment, plus Blackbutt Reserve will be bringing along a host of animals.

Participants will be able to cast their vote for the 'Caring for our Catchments' poster competition, which saw Hunter students design an informative poster to help reinforce the importance of caring for our waterways. The winning school will be announced on the day.

Hunter Water's Water Quality Scientist Rhys Blackmore said providing education is key to protecting local catchments.

'Educating our community on the direct link between healthy catchments and water quality is part of our mission,'

'The Family River Day provides the opportunity for people of all ages to learn more about our catchments,' said Mr Blackmore.

Raymond Terrace Lions Club will be selling food. Families are also welcome to bring a picnic.

Finnan Park is located beside Grahamstown Dam on Richardson Road, Raymond Terrace.

Free parking is available.

Contact Jillian Ayre (Mon, Tues, Wed) or Maree Whelan (Thurs – Fri) on (02) 4938 4932