The Lesson Is In The Music is a simple concept and the basis for the Clean Water Raingers Program.  The Illinois River Watershed Partnership started this program with the firm belief that if children learn to love their watershed, they will take care of it. And music is a wonderful way to deliver that lesson.  So, in 2010 we began the Clean Water Raingers Program when we asked Marshall Mitchell to write six watershed songs.  “Riparian Buffer” was the first of 10 songs written.

“A Riparian Buffer Zone

I’m gonna plant one for my own

On the shores of the waterways

To help keep the banks in place

A Riparian Buffer Zone

Call your friends on the telephone

Stop erosion now, I can tell you how

With a Riparian Buffer Zone”


With five new songs created in 2010, and four more added in 2012, we developed an educational program designed for children in Kindergarten through sixth grade.  And we took it on the road to elementary schools, Montessori preschools and special events.

Captain Marshall

“We can keep our waters clean and pure

For a cooling summer’s drink

If we take good care and use our heads

It is easier than you might think

If we wisely use the land we love

From the builder to the plow

We can all protect our watershed

There’s no better time to start than now”


Captain Marshall (as Marshall Mitchell is known to his audience) performs these songs, while explaining what a watershed is and the role that children and adults play in protecting, preserving and restoring it.
Clean Water Raingers School Program

Clean Water Raingers School Program

Both children and adults enjoy Captain Marshall’s songs and the slide show that runs during the program.  To enhance our message, the “new and improved” Clean Water Raingers Watershed Adventure book and companion CD were created and released in 2012.  And the program has been making a big splash! Clean Water Raingers has been performed for the delighted audience of more than 22,000 students and teachers to date.

Clean Water Raingers Book and NIEA Award

Clean Water Raingers Watershed Adventure and NIEA Award

Just recently, we were honored when this book/CD set won the National Indie Excellence Award in the Children’s Book/Audio category.   With this award recognition of our materials, we hope to get the Clean Water Raingers Watershed Adventure book/CD set into the hands of every elementary school age child in our watershed and beyond! We shall just keep on singing on….75,000, here we come!!!

If you’re interested in becoming a Clean Water Rainger, or are an educator who would like to bring the program to your school, visit for more information.


Related Links

Learn more: Clean Water Raingers

Listen now:  Watershed Songs

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