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The Mighty Mississippi


Living in close proximity to the river


The Mississippi River is one of the world’s great rivers. Flowing through, or bordering ten states in the USA, it has played an important part in the cultural, economic, and social fabric of life on the North American continent for as long as people have roamed the land. Today, the river remains the lifeblood of many communities in the region, supporting local agriculture, providing a source of safe drinking water, and serving as a vital artery for commercial transportation and trade.

This made it the perfect location to launch the first USA-based Swarovski Foundation Waterschool project back in 2016, with official partner National Great River Research and Education Center (NGRREC).

The Waterschool USA Program


Located near the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, the Waterschool USA program works with local communities to reconnect students and teachers to their local waterways. The program seeks to raise awareness and understanding of how people living along and within the Mississippi River watershed are connected to and reliant on a healthy, functioning river ecosystem.

By fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of the river’s ecological significance through a range of immersive activities, the program also aims to inspire positive change and encourage responsible community engagement – not only for the benefit of local communities, but for the watershed as a whole.

Camp Waterschool


Be a watershed ecologist

Camp Waterschool offers students and their mentors the opportunity to spend a week immersed in the role of a watershed ecologist. During the camp, participants engage in a variety of science exploration and nature immersion activities such as water quality sampling, stream walks, storm drain stenciling, and river trips, as well as arts and crafts and outdoor adventures. These activities help foster critical thinking and a deeper commitment to conservation.

Educator Workshops


Raise awareness of water and environment

Each year, Waterschool USA organizes a series of educator workshops  to equip teachers with the knowledge, tools, and resources necessary to integrate water-related topics into the curriculum. By building a bridge between classroom learning and community science initiatives, the workshops help spark student curiosity and raise awareness of water and environmental issues.

A Lasting Impact


The Waterschool USA program has had a significant impact since its inception.


700+ hours of professional development to 123 educators in Illinois and Missouri
6000+ hours of hands-on water science education with students aged 5-25
600 students engaged in on-water canoe and paddleboard excursions on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers
200+ Camp Waterschool participants
80+ teachers provided with water education activity kits
56 schools provided with sanitation and hygiene supplies

It’s not just those on the ground who have made a big impact. In the summer of 2023, Swarovski VIP members had the opportunity to bid on an extraordinary Elephant Hekima sculpture. The winning bid prompted a $15,000 donation – with all proceeds going directly to the Swarovski Foundation Waterschool program in the Mississippi watershed.

Swarovski Foundation

Visit the website for more information about the Swarovski Foundation and its projects.
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