Wabash Riverfest takes place at Tapawingo Park

West Lafayette held its 19th annual Wabash Riverfest on Saturday.

Posted: Jul 13, 2019 6:45 PM
Updated: Jul 13, 2019 6:48 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)— The Wabash Riverfest kicked off on Saturday morning and will go throughout the day.

People were able to enjoy free food, music and more. 

Organizations like The Nature Conservancy were there to educate the public about Freshwater mussels disappearing from Indiana during a time when water quality was degrading.

People stopped by the table to help clean mussels so they can be put in tributary streams like the Wildcat Creek, to measure the water quality.

Cassie Hauswald said the community should know how nature contributes to our everyday lives.

"So if they can grow if they can survive that means water quality is good and it's improving," said Hauswald. "It also means the substrate of the river is stable and that's a good thing."

Young man Tyson Kelsey said he had a great time and thinks other young people should come to community events. 

"Because kids like to have fun and they like to enjoy themselves."

Kelsey also had the chance to learn more about mussels on Saturday. 

Cassie Hauswald is a Fresh Water Ecologist for The Nature Conservancy. This organization works to improve habitat for plants, animals, and people. According to the organization Freshwater mussels disappeared from Indiana during a time when water quality was degrading and collection of these animals for their shells was still prevalent.

One of their projects includes teaming up with Duke Energy to help improve and research water quality.

According to The Nature Conservancy, "Duke Energy Foundation graciously supported The Nature Conservancy’s fledgling efforts to augment a freshwater mussel population in the Blue River using laboratory-raised animals," per The Nature Conservancy. "Based upon our initial success with wavy-rayed lamp mussel augmentation in the Blue River, The Nature Conservancy is augmenting a freshwater mussel species to the Wabash River watershed. Mussels have a lot to say about which rivers are clean enough to live in." 

Wabash Riverfest lasted until 8pm Saturday. 

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