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      First-ever Water Festival

      In the Upper Peninsula, Lake Superior is a major part of everyday life, whether it has to do with the boosting the economy or keeping it clean.

      At Friday's first-ever Water Festival, 1000 students from the Western Upper Peninsula got to learn everything Lake Superior.

      "We're the ones who are the caretakers. We're the stewards of Lake Superior, so we want them to recognize what a wonderful, beautiful, awesome place this is, but how critical it is to our healthy environment and to a vibrant economy," said event organizer Joan Chadde.

      Michigan Tech faculty and students and other organizations held 45 different stations for the younger kids to go to. Some talked about the importance of recycling to maintain a clean environment, while others showed students wildlife that lives in the lake.

      "You know, they're getting exposed to all the different people that are interested in the Great Lakes and water, water quality, healthy rivers and streams. Hopefully they're going to be interested and want to learn more," Chadde added.

      Some student groups even braved the cold Houghton weather to participate in hands-on outdoor stations, all in effort to gain a better appreciation for the lake.

      "People in, like, Nebraska or something, they're landlocked, so they can't just go swimming whenever they want. They have to travel places, but we could pretty much go in our backyard," said participant Mackenzie Klein.

      Plans are already in the works for next year's festival.