Stormwater Outreach Programs Target Schools

The Winooski Conservation District (WNRCD) will develop a project entitled Let it Rain – Soak it for Schools! With funding from the Lake Champlain Basin Program announced May 5, the Soak it for Schools! Program seeks to expand stormwater knowledge in Vermont schools and will target four core focus areas — education, communication, demonstration, and student participation — with the school campuses serving as a learning laboratory.

Let it Rain, a program managed jointly by the WNRCD and Lake Champlain Sea Grant, is an effort to implement green infrastructure in the Lake Champlain Basin. Soak it for Schools! adds an additional dimension to the community awareness component of this program.

The program will create tools for students and teachers to help them evaluate their own contribution to stormwater runoff and provides ways to address runoff on their campuses and homes. As part of the funding, pilot tool kits will be delivered to schools throughout the basin in the fall of 2014. This program is being rolled out as Lake Champlain’s new phosphorus total maximum daily load is being reviewed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The city of Edmonton (Alberta, Canada) also recently released the latest in their public education program teaching guides. Treat it Right!® Low Impact Development (LID) for 7th grade students, focuses on key concepts like water cycle processes, the effects of urban development, and stormwater management.

With learning objectives related to stormwater, LID, and wastewater, The Treat it Right! program provides core competencies in science and mathematics in addition to other topics. Treat it Right! now includes five teacher’s guides, including two in-person wetland field trips and a puppet show for younger students. Since beginning in 2007, the city of Edmonton estimates that the program may have been delivered to more than 100,000 students.

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