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Rain, rain, don’t go away

Rain, rain, don’t go away

 

Presentation at The Kent Theatre, September 25

N-Stormwater1-rain-garden-planting-webDo you know where the rainwater after a storm goes?  Or how this rainwater sometimes disappears so fast off our yards, sidewalks, and streets? Did you know that stormwater runoff is the leading source of water pollution in West Michigan?

A presentation at the Kent Theatre on September 25 at 6:30 p.m. will help you learn how some community groups are addressing it and what you can do about it in your own yard.

Before development occurred, most rainfall soaked into the ground and contributed to groundwater or evaporated back into the atmosphere. Modern drainage systems, which collect runoff from impervious surfaces (roofs and roads), ensure the water is efficiently carried to waterways through pipe networks. This is called stormwater runoff.

N-Stormwater2-rainbarrel-workshop-webStormwater runoff is the leading source of water pollution in West Michigan. Every time it rains, salt, lawn chemicals, oil, pet waste and other pollutants are carried to the Rogue River and Lake Michigan through contaminated stormwater. These pollutants are able to flow through storm sewers and drains into our lakes and rivers within minutes of rainfall. Along with carrying pollutants, stormwater runoff can also lead to increased flows and unstable water temperatures. This can have a negative effect on cold water trout streams, like Cedar Creek.

The Cedar Springs DDA and the Community Building Development Team have been working with Trout Unlimited, as part of the Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative project, to protect and improve Cedar Creek so it can become a more visible and enjoyable attribute of our town as well as a defining characteristic of our community.

There are many things that you can do on your property to decrease the amount of stormwater runoff you are generating and keep it pollution-free. Stormwater treatment practices, like rain gardens and rain barrels, are used to treat the stormwater on site. They capture runoff from roofs, driveways, patios, and lawns and infiltrate it into the soil. The plants and soils filter and remove stormwater pollutants. Infiltration reduces the volume of stormwater running off of a property and also reduces the potential for stormwater pollution in our local waterways.

In July, a rain garden and stream buffer was planted at the corner of Fifth and Cherry by these community groups. The stream buffer was planted to protect the stream bank from eroding into the Creek. Both the stream buffer and the rain garden were planted to shade the Creek and to filter storm water as it runs off the roads and parking lots as well as to cool the water before it enters the Creek. Plants selected have long roots, are natural to the area, and grow tall enough to provide some shade. Over 2,000 plants were put in to the ground at this site.

If you want to get in on the next planting opportunity or learn more about how we’re working together to develop Cedar Springs into an even more amazing community and what you can do on your property, join us for a public presentation on Wednesday, September 25th at 6:30 p.m. at the Kent Theatre. You can also get connected by liking the Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team on Facebook.  If you would like to find out more about the Trout Unlimited Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative project please contact Nichol De Mol at 231-557-6362 or ndemol@tu.org.

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