Once upon a time there was a river. It was a nice river except is was crazy polluted. And it had been working very hard for a very long time. While the river didn’t want to retire, it rather hoped someone would take care of it a little better.
The river was called Glug by close friends and the Ohio River by everyone else. The river had been given its name by the Iroquois one birthday (Ohi:yó means Good River which it was at that point in its life). It was 981 miles tall long and carried a lot of tributaries (piggy back style).
The river was the friendly type and snuggled up to six states while keeping in touch with several more in its drainage basin.
The first Europeans to see the river arrived in 1669. They didn’t even bring a thanks-for-letting-us-visit present.
Eventually, lots of people moved in and – wham! dams, pollution, big mess.
For a long time, the river ran from the problem (get it? river running? of course you do) and then along came a Very Nice Man (VNM).
The VNM spent a lot of time with the river, cleaning it up, sprucing up its shores, helping people enjoy it, and educating kids about taking care of it (called “Being Environmental Stewards”). He created a Foundation to help take care of the whole watershed and to teach students about the importance of taking care of our resources. He named the Foundation after river, which the river thought was very nice.
The river knew not everything would change overnight, but it had been around for a long time and it was willing to wait and work with the VNM.
Don’t forget to call (as in your real voice–not just a text) Dad today to say Happy Birthday.