In June a group of volunteers from Concord Trinity United Methodist’s Creation Care Team came together on a hot Saturday morning to help do their part in protecting local waterways. For the next few hours the twelve members of the Creation Care Team helped place inlet markers on over 84 storm drains located throughout the residential streets of neighborhoods near the Church. Using maps that showed where different storm drains were located, participants set off to walk the local neighborhoods and place markers – helping build awareness and responsibility towards the water in our watershed.
This project is the second event the Concord Trinity Lutheran Church’s Creation Care team has helped organize to engage the congregation in meaningful, hands-on ways to help project and enhance the environment. The Creation Care team hopes that by engaging individuals in projects that show the value and impact of taking care of our planet, they’ll energize those around them to take better care and engage in all aspects of caring for the Earth, sea, and sky. The group first heard about this opportunity after a guest speaker from the St. Louis Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) spoke to the team about the importance of “only rain down the drain” and other ways to help protect local watersheds. The Creation Care team is also engaged in other activities such as recycling at Church, touring local recycling sites, and more.
What is storm drain marking you might wonder. Well, it is an effort to help engage the community in protecting our local watersheds from harmful pollutants and raise awareness that what goes down our storm drains may end up in our local creeks, rivers, and streams. Here in St. Louis we live in the Mississippi River Watershed, and anything from washing the car and water leaving our homes to stormwater from roofs, parking lots, and driveways flows downhill and may end up in local streams, creeks, and rivers such as the Meramec, River des Peres, and Deer Creek. The simple act of installing inlet markers can be a friendly reminder to help keep litter, fats, oils, greases, and other harmful pollutants out of the storm drain.
Want to get involved?
Here are 10 things you can do to prevent stormwater runoff pollution
- Use fertilizers sparingly and sweep up driveways, sidewalks, and gutters
- Never dump anything down storm drains or in streams
- Vegetate bare spots in your yard or plant a rain garden!
- Compost your yard waste
- Use fewer toxic pesticides, follow labels, and learn how to prevent pest problems
- Direct downspouts away from paved surfaces or install a rain barrel
- Take your car to the car wash instead of washing it in the driveway
- Check your car for leaks and recycle your motor oil
- Pick up after yourself and your pet outdoors
- Have your septic tank pumped and system inspected regularly
You can also choose to get involved!
Mark Storm Drains
- You can plan your own storm drain marking project for your group/neighborhood. We provide support and all the supplies you’ll need – you provide the people and place. Contact MSDCleanwater@mobot.org to find out more about organizing your own event.
- You can volunteer for a Stream Clean-up project to help keep trash out of our waters, plant trees, monitor water quality and much more. Visit mostreamteam.org for more information.
- Volunteer for one of MSD and partnering organizations Stream Clean-up events: Missouri/Mississippi Confluence Trash Bash in March; Operation Clean Stream on the Meramec River in August; and River des Peres Trash Bash in the Fall.
For Educators: Did you know we have many free resources for you to bring the topic of water quality to your classroom?
Reserve an EnviroScape for Your Classroom
The EnviroScape® is a visual, hands-on tool that demonstrates how water pollution results from everyday activities. Through this demonstration students will learn how everyone in their community can reduce non-point source pollution and have healthier watersheds.
- Reservation is FREE
- EarthWays staff will drop-off and pick-up the model
- Staff will provide FREE training and teaching aids on how to use the model with your class
Attend a FREE Professional Development Workshop
Get started in building your knowledge and understanding of stormwater issues in our area at an upcoming teacher workshop. Workshops are designed to help facilitate teachers’ desire to learn more about stormwater management and water quality while discovering new ways to bring this topic back to their classroom. Participating educators will receive a $75 stipend, digital copies of the MSD Clean Water Education lessons & materials, and a Clean Water Educator Certificate for attending a 2019 workshop.
Questions or to learn more: Contact Kat at MSDCleanwater@mobot.org or (314) 577-0207.