The national award-winning annual Independence EcoFest – themed “It’s All About Water!” – will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., June 4, at the city-owned Waterfall Park south of Bass Pro Shops. The interactive free event aims to teach children and families about preserving natural resources and protecting the environment.

For the fourth year running, it’s all about water.

The national award-winning annual Independence EcoFest – themed “It’s All About Water!” – will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., June 4, at the city-owned Waterfall Park south of Bass Pro Shops. The interactive free event aims to teach children and families about preserving natural resources and protecting the environment.

“It seems like a simple phrase,” Water Pollution Control Director Dick Champion said of the event tag line, “but if you think about it, there is a finite amount of water on this entire Earth, and everything we do requires water.”

Educational topics will include water quality, local watersheds, stormwater management and energy. Conservation will be a new discussion this year, Champion said, adding that residents should be aware of their water “footprint.” For example, he said, a pair of blue jeans requires 2,900 gallons of water to make.

“One of the goals over time would be that as children and families learn their zip code, we want them to learn their drip code,” Champion said.

The city and its Water Pollution Control, Parks and Recreation, Power & Light and Water departments sponsor the event, along with the Missouri departments of Conservation and Natural Resources, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Little Blue River Watershed Coalition and several other local groups.

Festival attendees will collect stamps for their “eco passports” by answering quiz questions as they visit booths throughout the park. Participants will receive a free 2011 EcoFest T-shirt for their completed passports. The popular edible ice cream aquifers also will be offered again, and water-themed games and live entertainment will take place.

Visit the city’s website at www.indepmo.org/ecofest or call Water Pollution Control at 816-325-7711 for more information. Last year, more than 800 people attended the event, though dark, stormy clouds and humidity threatened the four-hour event.

“Pray for good weather,” Champion said.