COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Columbus Arts Festival is a sight to see, with hundreds of tents, stages, and art exhibits lining the Scioto Mile riverfront.

But imagine seeing it while kayaking on the Scioto River.

Those who took part in Riverfest 2023, held in conjunction with the arts festival, had that opportunity Saturday.

Riverfest is an annual event held by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), teaching the importance of clean water through recreational water activities like kayaking, canoeing, rowing, and paddle boating.

MORPC is a council consisting of central Ohio communities with the goal of finding better ways to improve the growth and sustainability of the region for future generations.

MORPC organizers said using art and recreation has become one of the group’s most effective tools in teaching about conservation.

“We are using arts as a community engagement to sort of start a conversation around water quality and water conservation,” Edwina Teye, MORPC senior planner, said. “And we are asking residents to come out, to have fun, and as you’re having fun, to try to raise consciousness around water quality.”

Riverfest will continue Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the recreational activities are free for attendees.