WPC, Volunteers Making Good Things Happen in 2021
By Drew Wallace, Program Coordinator, Department of Water Pollution Control
Quarterly, I write an article that talks about how to prevent stormwater pollution. Sometimes it feels like Groundhog Day, repeating the same thing over and over: don’t blow grass clippings in the street, be careful not to over fertilize your lawns, pick up your pet’s waste, etc. As we prepare to close another year, I’d like to change it up and do a year in review, highlighting the good things that happened in our community in 2021!
This past spring, the Water Pollution Control Department was invited to collaborate with the Auburn Conservation Team and outreach partners from Home Depot on a community clean-up project on Touring Drive, east of Walmart. Nearly 40 volunteers collected and disposed of three truckloads of trash that had accumulated on the city-owned 15th Street wetlands property.
Next, our department worked with DeKalb Soil and Water Conservation to host a rain barrel workshop. Together, we gave a brief presentation on stormwater pollution and prevention that each of the 27 attendees could practice at home. After the presentation, they built their rain barrel that was ready to be hooked up to their downspout. Did I mention these barrels are free to Dekalb residents? We hosted another workshop in the fall and 13 participants took free barrels home. We plan to hold additional workshops in 2022.
Later in the fall, we hosted a Cedar Creek clean-up project from the intersections of CR 36 and 35 (Doc Coleman Landing), down to Eckhart Park. More than 20 volunteers from DeKalb Soil and Water, Auburn Conservation Team, and Scout Troops #169 and #597 pulled out items like tractor and automobile tires, a car battery, a bicycle, a metal/wooden bench, traffic cones, a snow shovel, a handheld radio, miscellaneous rubber, glass and plastic. While it’s a shame we have to host events like this, it’s great that we can all work together so others can enjoy the beauty of nature.
That’s a lot of good to report! It is encouraging to see so many volunteers take pride in their community. Many of you sacrificed some of your time and energy to be a part of these projects. Thank you to DeKalb Soil and Water Conservation, Auburn Conservation Team, Scout Troops #169 and #597, and the many volunteers who joined us in making Auburn a better place—a place we call HOME.
Future projects and workshops will be communicated on the City of Auburn’s social media channels and in the local newspaper. For additional information regarding your local stormwater issues, please contact: Drew Wallace, Program Coordinator, at 260-925-1714 or firstname.lastname@example.org.