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DEQ puppet show urges environment protection

Brookhaven’s Mount Wade Baptist Church is trying to teach kids about water conservation, and Wednesday night they presented an educational puppet show to an audience of about 100 on the matter.

     Wesley Kerr, an area conservationist and a deacon at the church, said it’s important for children to know how important our resources are.

     “They’ll be better stewards and better caretakers of our precious resources … water, soil, plants and animals,” he said.

     “Watershed Harmony” was put on by Bayou Town Productions, a family group that travels the state performing it and other educational shows. It features a town whose growth and industry threaten to destroy the environment around it.

     “The goal is to get students to be conscientious about the environment,” said Cherie Schadler, one of Bayou Town’s performers. “If that’s all we can accomplish, then we’ve done a good job.”

     Schadler, along with husband Ron and son Joey, led the audience in exercises intending to show them how much trash gets into the water system. Some children became “motor oil” and others became “paper” and “dirty diapers” that followed the rain into a river, illustrating why it’s important to properly throw trash away.

     The show, which was commissioned by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, is funded by a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.

     Mt. Wade pastor the Rev. Randolph Hamilton said it’s important that kids and adults know how to care for the environment.

     “It’s all our responsibility,” he said.