The West River Water Festival began in 2011 as the culmination of a youth watershed education project led by Doreen Abubakar, a social entrepreneur and science educator. Doreen teamed up with NHS Rehab Department’s Kathy Fay to create a summer celebration of the river and watershed, and since then the annual event has continued to grow. “By involving young people from New Haven neighborhoods with their watershed, we hope to inspire them to pursue further education, and perhaps scientific or conservation careers,” says Doreen, who envisions the Festival as one day stretching the entire length of the West River Memorial Park.
The Festival engages residents in communities along the West River and within its watershed, which encompasses many of the neighborhoods served by NHS of New Haven, from Newhallville to the Hill, encouraging neighborhood residents and public and private partners to take some time together in the summer to run through a sprinkler, learn about fish and birds, and paddle a canoe.
Keep an eye out for the 2017 Festival next July!