WATERLOO — Sunday at the Quarry gives people the chance to fill their pockets with rocks and fill their brains with knowledge about the earth sciences.
“There’s activities and programs for all ages and all interests,” said Sherman Lundy, a geologist and project developer for BMC Aggregates, which hosts the annual event.
This year’s Sunday at the Quarry will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at BMC Aggregates’ Morgan Quarry, 4618 E. Donald St., in Waterloo.
The event is free and open to the public.
“It’s a great opportunity for people to get outside and explore their world, talk to people who are doing things for them and with them, to understand what services and programs they have, (and) for youngsters to get out … and learn a little bit, have some fun with activities. That’s what it’s all about,” Lundy said of the event, which is in its 19th year and held in conjunction with earth sciences week.
This year’s theme is “Everyone Lives in a Watershed.”
Lundy said earth sciences are one of the least understood sciences, particularly in terms of the ways it impacts people’s day-to-day lives, from where to dig wells to predicting floods.
As the county and the region has made investments in watershed management — and seen two major flood events in less than a decade — Lundy said it was a good time to focus on getting people to understand their relationship with the water around them.
But there are countless other activities for learning, or for having fun. People can create lime and rock art and collect rocks, minerals and fossils. Or they can enjoy presentations and programs on water and soil conservation.
“It’s a way to get people to understand the importance of the earth sciences in their lives,” Lundy said.
Some of the other organizations involved in the annual event are Black Hawk County Soil and Water Conservation Watershed Program, Black Hawk Gem and Mineral Club, Iowa Flood Center, Iowa Geological Survey, Iowa Learning Farms, State Hygienic Lab, the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Northern Iowa Earth and Environmental Science department, among others.