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City of Greenwood, Indiana

 

The Organization

The City of Greenwood is an Indiana municipal corporation located in Johnson County, Indiana. The City has approximately 53,000 residents and is a member of the Johnson County Partnership for Water Quality. The City’s Stormwater Management District covers approximately twenty-five (25) square miles and is drained by eight Receiving Streams located in five Watersheds.

The Mission

We are responsible for the quality of those waters leaving our City.

We also teach our residents about the importance of our waters through outreach and education. Our City's website shows some of our past projects, and some of our education processes. 

The Project

We bought an old building, and we are remodeling it. The front half of the building has hopes of being the City of Greenwood's Nature Center. The adjacent wooded property is owned by the City as well, and would work perfectly in conjunction with the nature center, as a hands on area.

We would like to use the small area of woods attached to our property as an education area. It is adjacent to a city park, down the street from an elementary school, the public library, and the local community center that is currently under renovation. With the woods, and the creek, we could bring in youth and adults, and explain the importance of native plants, invasive species of plants in Indiana, and keeping our creeks, streams, and lakes clean. The potential to garner attendance and support for this project is great. Greenwood needs a site that helps advocate for trees, and how they impact water quality in a positive way.  

Current practices of creek or stream repair today seem to be to completely remove all vegetated stream segments to install engineered systems, when existing large trees and native vegetation can do the work. We just need to manage these sites for invasive species, and help promote regeneration.  This proposed project could help work with our youth and future leaders to change the perception of “messy looking areas around streams.”  And it would give them the direct experience with water quality first hand. We plan to bring teachers and their students in for hands on nature experiments. We would like to install walking trails, areas of the woods with native plant species, and bat boxes for the bats that live in the area. We want to show the youth the importance of living together with nature. We hope involve the citizens of Greenwood in becoming active stewards of Indiana's water resources through watershed education, water monitoring, and clean-up activities.

We can accomplish this mission through the following goals:

  • Educate students and citizens on watersheds, and the relationship between land use and water quality.
  • Train students and citizens on the basic principles of water quality monitoring.
  • Promote opportunities for involvement in water quality issues.
  • Provide water quality information to individuals or groups working to protect water resources.
  • Support volunteer efforts by providing technical assistance, monitoring equipment, networking opportunities and educational materials.

We have included information as an example of our Sampling Techniques.
 

Key Project Milestones

We are working with arborist to tell us what trees should be removed from the woods, and along the creek banks.  We have removed most of the invasive species plants, and put in the mulch trail.  This spring, we plan clear out all the concrete and debris from the creek,  plant clusters of native plant material along the creek banks and trail, and install signage about each species. We had a local Boy Scout Troop build us three bat boxes, we plan to hang them this spring as well.

We want youth to be able to get into the creek with instructors, pull water quality samples, learn about the importance of trees and plant life along the banks, and catch macro invertebrates. By sampling the water, and finding and identifying these insects (the macros), we can determine just how healthy our creeks, streams, and lakes are. We plan to install picnic tables in the woods by the creek for the students. We plan to do a lot of the work with employee, and community volunteer help, but the tree trimming and removal, buying the plant material, signage, and educational materials are the biggest costs associated with this project.

Rough Budget for This Project

$5,000