“Knowledge is power,” says Bob Ericksen, cofounder of the Sun Foundation. “The more we know about our options, the better choices we can make for the health of our rivers and the blood streams that flow through us.”

The Sun Foundation’s 23rd annual Clean Water Celebration, themed “Be a Watershed Hero,” embraces this pursuit of knowledge and the importance of protecting all our connected water sources—a timely perspective amidst national crises like the water shortage in California and water pipe contamination in Flint, Michigan.

“From the land to the wetland, from the creek to the river, we will trace our impact downstream,” says Ericksen. Three local field ecologists will make up the keynote panel, exploring ways to make a difference in the health of watersheds.

The Celebration kicks off at the Gateway Building on the Peoria riverfront on Sunday, April 17th with a Native American Blessing of the River and a Parade of Waters, led by Ho Chunk leader Hayna “White Beaver” Sine. A keynote dinner will follow at 5:30pm at the GAR Hall on Hamilton Ave. On Monday, April 18th, the Clean Water Celebration continues from 9am to 2pm at the Peoria Civic Center, with an emphasis on educating local students, grades 4-12, their teachers, and the community with presentations throughout the day. For more information, visit sunfoundation.org. iBi