Gary Storm Water Management District hosts its 14th celebration

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Lake Michigan is a source of recreation, drinking water, and industry. The 45 miles of shoreline in Indiana is the most diverse in the Great Lakes region. The State of Indiana’s Lake Michigan Coastal Program, along with local community and non-profit partners, is working to preserve this natural and cultural gem for the children of tomorrow. June is Lake Michigan Coastal Awareness Month in Indiana (CAM).  The month gives Hoosiers the chance to learn more about the Lake Michigan Coastal Program and celebrate the area’s splendor by increasing their awareness of the region’s importance. We’re encouraging everyone to get outside and explore the Lake Michigan area of northwest Indiana.  Review June’s calendar of events that will occur in various communities at http://www.in.gov/dnr/lakemich/6202.htm.

Among those events is Gary 14th Annual Clean Water Celebration! The Gary Storm Water Management District (GSWMD) in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Affairs/Green Urbanism is hosting this 3-day event with support from the Gary Parks & Recreations Department, The Field Museum, Gary Food Council and other clean water partners. These environmental education activities are free to the public.

This year’s events are scheduled for June 14-15, 2018.  Our Water Quality Partners have coordinated activities centered on the theme, “Celebrate Our Coast: Fresh, Water Fun!” It begins with a Rain Garden Monitoring Presentation & Volunteerism Day on June 14, 2018.  Come and learn about the design and stormwater features installed at City Hall from 10:00 AM till 12:00 PM.  Then on June 15, 2018, join the Gary Community Gardens Group in an environmental education activity at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois from 8:00 AM till 2:00 PM.  Participants will learn about integrating native planting into urban farming and/or community gardening.

On Saturday June 16, 2018, we’ve planned the Clean Water Canoe & Kayak, a day of free recreational, educational, and fun-filled activities for both youth and adults to enjoy.  This outdoor event will begin at 10:00 a.m. in Marquette Park near the lagoons in Area 5.  Activities include free canoe training and paddling on the Lagoon, free paddle boat rides, kayak rides, beach safety, and refreshments.  Everyone can play a role to keep our water clean by taking the Clean Water Pledge.  Let’s all celebrate our coastal waters by keeping them free and clear of pollution.

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, states, “The educational focus is to increase public awareness about clean water and how we all can play an important role throughout our community to protect and preserve Gary’s natural resource through pollution prevention practices and control of erosion and storm water run-off.”

Green Urbanism and Environmental Affairs Director Brenda Scott-Henry believes that collaboration and coordination with various groups and organizations is pivotal to achieve these common goals.

This annual Clean Water Celebration event will also include information and activities supported by GSWMD’s Storm Water Public Education and Outreach Program as well as other projects and programs by local organizations, business, and environmental organizations.  The primary purpose for this public education and outreach activity is to provide local residents, businesses, and youth with information on the effects of storm water run-off on water quality and quantity and how to implement storm water pollution prevention practices in our daily lives, says Dan Vicari, GSWMD Executive Director.

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