We're excited that, working with our partner, the LWV of Illinois Education Fund, we've purchased two watershed demonstration models. The models will be used to help the public visualize the many potential sources of water pollution, as well as solutions to prevent and clean up pollution.
We are grateful to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for a Coastal Management grant that allowed us to purchase the models.
We'll be debuting the models this summer in Illinois Lake Michigan coastal communities. Volunteers will be trained to use them. Check our calendar for opportunities to see them in action.
NATIVE PLANTS HELP CLEAN WATER, NATURALLY!
We are thrilled to have learned that we will be able to continue spreading that message with the aid of an Illinois Department of Natural Resources Coastal Management Mini-Grant! The grant will fund the development and production of outreach materials and one or more mobile workshops in summer of 2016. We are extremely grateful for this opportunity!
Materials will be available for no cost to the local Leagues in the Illinois Coastal Zone, and to other LWVLMR member Leagues at cost. We look forward to working again with local Leagues on this project. More information about this project will be available early in 2016.
The LWVIL Education Fund will administer the grant. This is the second coastal management grant LWVILEF and LWVLMR have received; the first funded the first phase of the Stormwater Education project through 2014.
The Village of Winnetka, IL is in the midst of developing plans to construct a conveyance tunnel for excess stormwater to Lake Michigan. Yesterday, the LWVLMR joined the Leagues of Women Voters of Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview, Wilmette, and Winnetka-Northfield-Kenilworth to cosponsor a program, "Managing Stormwater/Protecting Lake Michigan: Determining the Future Now," to provide information and context to the public.
A distinguished panel of speakers provided background on Lake Michigan; Green Infrastructure; stormwater planning in Glenview, IL; the specific plans in Winnetka; and the stormwater discharge permitting process in Illinois. Beth Coulson, a member of the LWV Glenview, moderated. The speakers have kindly given us permission to share their powerpoint presentations.
For more information on the tunnel, please see the Village of Winnetka's dedicated stormwater management planning website. For media coverage of this program, see articles in the Chicago Tribune, and the Glenview Announcements (also appeared in other Pioneer Press publications).
UPDATED 10/30/14 to add newspaper article. SECOND UPDATE on 11/9/14 to link to speaker presentations.
Tim Glover of Zion, IL, was the lucky winner of a new rain barrel, when he attended the "Stormwater from the Ground Up" presentation on Saturday, September 21, 2014. The program at the Zion-Benton Public Library was sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Lake County.
Thanks to a generous donation from a League member, we have been able to add seven to the number of rain barrels out there. In regard to providing the raffle prizes, the member said, "How powerful is it to actually offer a rain barrel to an audience that you have been suggesting use them?"
The 7th and final drawing will take place on Monday, September 29, 7 pm, at the LWV Wilmette-sponsored program at the Wilmette Community Recreation Center.
Thanks for coming and congratulations, Tim!
As we've been on the road, promoting the use of green infrastructure for all of its virtues, including its ability to naturally clean stormwater, we've heard plenty of stories. This one comes from Jean & Doug Cheever, of the League of Women Voters of Dubuque, IA. They shared,
Our street is a major arterial that is salted and plowed frequently in winter. The strip between the sidewalk and street faces southwest. This "hell strip" gets hot during summer afternoons and, in winter, is regularly exposed to salt and repeated freezing and thawing. The sod installed after construction quickly became weedy and patchy and required more work than the rest of our lawn. We finally gave up and replaced grass with suggested salt-, drought-, and ice-resistant plants.
It turned out that the City only allowed grass in parkway plantings. After some research, the Cheevers found a St. Paul, Minnesota ordinance that encouraged other street plantings as long as they were less than 3 feet tall and did not include noxious weeds or marijuana.
Armed with their case and the ordinance, they appealed to their government officials. Success! The City changed the policy! Thanks, Cheevers, for helping to beautify America and working towards cleaner water!