Keep it Interesting: Stormwater Runoff 5K Educates Homeowners

Keep it Interesting: Stormwater Runoff 5K Educates Homeowners
The Stormwater Runoff 5K, which will take place Oct. 12, was created to raise homeowner awareness about the effects of stormwater on Mill Creek, the first stream adopted in Pennsylvania.

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Public education can be tricky. It needs to be exciting, refreshing and engaging to get your message across. Enter the Stormwater Runoff 5K, organized by Pennsylvania’s Lower Merion Conservancy in conjunction with the Lower Merion Township Environmental Advisory Council. 

The event, which will take place Oct. 12, was created to raise homeowner awareness about the effects of stormwater on Mill Creek, the first stream adopted in Pennsylvania. Participants will receive literature about stormwater runoff in their race packs, and they’ll encounter dozens of water facts throughout the course. In addition, all proceeds raised during the event will go to support stormwater initiatives and other programs at the conservancy. 

“Stormwater is the No. 1 environmental problem here, and the creek is heavily impacted,” says Patty Thompson, executive director of the Lower Merion Conservancy. “We want to educate residents about the importance of water infiltration on their properties.” 

Thompson, who refers to lawns as “grassphalt” because of their inability to absorb rainwater, hopes that through education, homeowners will make simple changes to their properties such as adding rain barrels, planting rain gardens and diligently removing pet droppings. 

In the past, the Conservancy has partnered closely with local municipalities, including the department of public works, to create streamside buffers. The 5K event will count toward the township’s MS4 stormwater permit requirements as a public education event. Under the MS4 program, permit holders are required to incorporate several elements, including public education and outreach, into stormwater management programs. 

The Stormwater Runoff 5K is a unique opportunity to link environmental agencies, public works departments and homeowners. 

“Stormwater unites people in a weird type of way,” Thompson says. 

For more information on the event, visit www.LMconservancy.org

Has your municipality educated homeowners about stormwater? How do you keep the topic interesting?



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