Today, League members join other advocates on Capitol Hill to share the need for continued restoration of the Great Lakes. They will be discussing clean water protection, runoff pollution, and invasive species, and funding of programs like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, all of which are critical to the health of the lakes.
LWVLMR is a member of the Healing Our Waters - Great Lakes Coalition, which organizes Great Lakes Day every year.
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!
Residents from Midlothian, Illinois attended the June 16 presentation of the Stormwater from the Ground Up program at the Dolton Public Library. They shared their neighborhood's flooding problems and their attempts to get help.
At nearly every place we bring the program, League members meet people whose homes suffer from chronic flooding. While we appreciate their thanks for some new ideas about how to address their problems, it is clear that people are overwhelmed. Additional governmental efforts to assist individuals is needed.