BTG Lake Walk to focus on importance of fresh water

Greg Funka | Staff Photographer
Sam Thebeau, of Marblehead, Mass., cools off at Children’s Beach with his mom, Bridget.

At 6:30 p.m. today, Deb Naybor will present “How Special is Chautauqua Lake” at the Lake Walk, discussing the gift of fresh water. Meet at the covered porch of the Heinz Fitness Center, located on South Lake Drive at the corner of South Avenue (below the Youth Activities Center). This event is sponsored by the Bird, Tree & Garden Club in cooperation with the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy.

Naybor holds a doctorate in geography and teaches at the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, but it is her experience traveling abroad that will enable her to compare Chautauqua Lake’s watershed to others.

Naybor said in an email that she will talk about how various nations and societies view their watersheds, and how lessons learned from elsewhere in the world could be applied to this region.

“I will discuss how stormwater is handled in urban regions, how watershed awareness is promoted in places like Iceland and Singapore,” Naybor said. “Managing water is a matter of life and death in India and Africa.”

Gathering safe water for rural villages in Africa is not an easy task. Naybor said that the average African woman must spend one-and-a-half  hours each day collecting and treating water to get enough drinking water for her family.

“In Uganda, women I work with walk an average of six miles a day doing their daily chores and travel two miles … round trip to a local well,” she wrote.

Participants will draw water from the lake and carry it for one-eighth of a mile to get an idea of what it is like to carry water. A portable sound system is used for amplification during the Lake Walk.