The Grand River Dam Authority’s Ecosystems and Watershed Management Department announced this week a new Guard the Grand Watershed Conservation Program.
The announcement notes several workshops — planned for July and August — will roll out the program to the public.
The first workshops will be online, with live workshops possibly to follow, according to GRDA.
Dates and subjects include Introduction to Guard the Grand and Understanding Your Watershed on July 15, Adopt-the-Shoreline Program and Boat and Dock Maintenance on July 30 and Landscaping for Water Quality and Conservation on Aug. 13.
The program is designed to inform area residents on issues surrounding the Grand Lake watershed and how they can play a role in helping to improve area water quality in the watershed, according to GRDA.
Citizens that become involved by attending workshops, installing a best management practices or changing lawn care practices will be recognized as “Guardians of the Grand,” according to the announcement.
“In order to improve water quality in the lake, you have to start with the streams and rivers that feed it, and that includes residents in four states, not just those that live around the lake,” states GRDA Vice President of Ecosystem and Watershed Management, Darrell Townsend, Ph.D.
To help implement the new program, GRDA received an environmental education grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. The grant provided funds to purchase supplies such as rain barrels, soil test kits and septic maintenance kits for residents who attend one or more of the free workshops.
To register for one of the free online workshops go to: http://GRDA_Ecosystems_and_Watershed_Mngmt.eventbrite.com.
Professional development workshops and teacher workshops also are scheduled.
Additionally, GRDA has several interactive tools to help residents better understand runoff, and how nutrients affect water quality and erosion.
“By using interactive tools, residents can create and then repair problems to see how what they do on the land impacts streams and lakes,” said Jeri Fleming, owner of Dragonfly Consulting LLC.
Fleming is working with GRDA to implement the program. Besides conducting the workshops, Fleming is available to visit with any group interested in learning more.
For questions about the Guard the Grand program or the workshops, Fleming can be reached at email@example.com or 405-334-6343.