Tag Archives: stormwater

300 storm drains in St. Charles County are now a little bit smarter

Greenway Network is working with St. Charles County Department of Health and Environment to get 9,000 storm drains marked in unincorporated St Charles County.

In 2014 monthly marking events took place on the first Saturday of each month, weather permitting.  We had about 30 volunteers who marked an estimated 300 storm drains over the summer.

An educational flyer describing the importance of no dumping into storm drains was also placed at all residences along the routes where storm drains were marked.

Greenway Network will continue the event in 2015.  Anyone can join in the fun! This is a great activity for a small group to do on their own time.  Greenway Network makes kits available to community groups and residents.

Look for more information about dates and times for 2015 events on the Greenway Network webpage.


Hinkson Clean Sweep is this Saturday, October 11

Activities: Work with other volunteers from the City of Columbia to clean up area streams.
Date: Saturday, October 10, 2014
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Place: Various locations around Columbia

What to Expect: Basically the most rockin’ trash bash this side of the Missouri. Mike Heimos, the City of Columbia’s stormwater educator, has been running the show for at least ten years, but he goes so hard he doesn’t pause to count them. The first year he tried a city cleanup, 48 people showed up. Last year? 2,400.

They’re all marching under the banner of the Columbia Crawdads, a city-wide Stream Team that, Heimos says, “has such an amazing following. It just blows my mind.”

He’s not exaggerating. In addition to collecting more than a ton of trash each Clean Sweep, cleanup groups now hit Columbia streams 2-3 times each month. The Stormwater Education Facebook page has more than 1,300 fans, some of its YouTube videos have thousands of views, and its Instagram cranks out hundreds of photos of the faces and places the Heimos crew works to restore.

What to Do: Well, first and foremost, you have to register. Go do that now and come back to us. We’ll wait…

Ok, so you know where you’re going? You can start showing up there any time after 9:30 A.M. You’ll sign in your group, get your clean up supplies and receive instructions from the Stream Captains. Then you’ll pick up trash! You’ll make new friends! It’ll be great.

What to Bring:  Yourself and everyone in your group! All supplies will be provided for at your site – clean up bags, gloves, just about everything you will need. Just make sure you have your toes covered and you’re comfortable in the weather.

Where you can go from here: “The goal of the Clean Sweep is to let people know they can do cleanups in Columbia as a volunteer opportunity,” Heimos says. “What we’ve found is, we don’t need to do this anymore; Once volunteers come and do it, they realize they can continue throughout the year.” In the past two months, for instance, Heimos has arranged 16 cleanups, and he only had to meet with a quarter of them to get them started. The rest already knew the drill.

“In Columbia, the polluter is us,” Heimos says. “We’re a suburban/urban area, there’s no factory on the hill pumping out pollution. It’s us: motor oil, cigarette butts, pet waste, Shakespeare’s cups, Harpo’s cups, plastic spoons and straws.”

So now’s your chance to turn “people pollution” into “people solutions.” Go sweep the Hinkson clean, and let us know how it goes!

For more information: Peruse the “Clean Sweeper’s Rules.” or email volunteer@GoColumbiaMo.com.

25th-ST_Logo-Color-FinalThis is one of your last chances at Stream Team 25th Anniversary greatness. So enjoy the fall day, get those last stamps on your passport, and look forward to cool prizes!

YOU get a car! And YOU get a car! And YOU get a car! (Just mark some storm drains!)

Activities: Enter to win a car and Join Greenway Network and the St. Charles County greenwaynetworkDepartment of Health to mark more than 9,000 storm drains in St. Charles County!
stcharlesDate: Saturday, August 2, 2014
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Place: Sites in every corner of St. Charles County

Why mark storm drains? Some people still dump chemicals, trash and household waste down storm drains. Is it carelessness? Is it ignorance? We’re going to try and make sure it’s not the latter. Passive and permanent education doesn’t get much better than on-site, at-your-feet advice about exactly where those storm drains lead.

What you get out of the deal: Every storm drain volunteer gets entered to win a new Chevy Sonic for the Poage Chevrolet Volunteer with Greenway  drawing. You’ll also feel an huge sense of accomplishment for something incredibly easy.

Seriously, after just two hours out on the streets, you can literally look behind you and see the impact you have on stormwater education. And we say there’s nothing wrong with instant gratification.

What to expect: Be prepared to drive to sites throughout St. Charles County as well as do some walking or wheeling from drain to drain.

Storm drain marking will continue on the first Saturday of each month through October. You can register online at www.greenwaynet​work.org.

What to bring: Dress for the weather. Wear shoes made for walking.

For more information: Contact Larry Ruff at greenwaynetwork​@gmail.com or call (636) 498-0772 to register and arrange site locations.

Directions to the rendezvous site:

For more information, visit www.greenwaynet​work.org.

PS – The raffle winner will be announced at Greenway Network’s Race for the Rivers fundraiser, August 23. Come to the festival, paddle in a cool race, or join Ride for the Rivers if boats aren’t your thing.

25th-ST_Logo-Color-FinalThis storm drain event  is part of “25 Days of Stream Team”.  If you submit an activitiy report, it counts as a stamp on your stream team passport, which means you can win even more prizes! Learn more about all 25+ Anniversary events and the passport program

“Know Your Watershed” Festival in Harrisonville June 28

Activities: Experts will show you the ways of water, from hydrology to plants to policy. Gain new knowledge AND new friends who care about water just as much as you do!
Date: Saturday, June 28
Time: 7:30-11:30 a.m.
Place: Harrisonville Square

The 3rd Annual “Know Your Watershed” festival in Harrisonville may not be as big as Bonnaroo, but don’t let that stop you from rocking out to the sounds of your favorite stream!  Representatives from the South Grand River Watershed Alliance, the City of Harrisonville, the Missouri Department of Conservation and others will sprawl over Harrisburg Square, ready to teach YOU about local waterways.

High note of your summer? We think so.

Attendees will learn about:

  • The importance of keeping rain where it falls and how streams buffered by native trees, rain gardens, rain barrels, and native plant landscapes help to keep stormwater runoff pollutants out of our streams.
  • Actions individuals, businesses, and government entities can take to address stormwater runoff. 
  • The function of wetlands for water quality and quantity.
  • Threats that invasive exotic plants and animals pose to the health of watersheds. 
  • Urban and rural nonpoint source pollution, rain barrels, and more.
  • Demonstrations showing how streams function, including an interactive stream table!

(sidenote: while you’re visiting the Harrisonville Square, maybe you can buy its buildings from a bank robber–strange but true!)


For more information: Visit http://www.sgrwa.org/, call (816) 758-6708, or email contactinfo@sg​rwa.org.

Happy Stormwater Awareness Month!

Photo from Chesapeake Bay Program

May is Stormwater Awareness Month! Non-point source pollution, or water contaminants from multiple or hard-to-identify sources,  can cause a lot of problems in streams.

Unfortunately, Missouri streams are no exception. Urban runoff carries pollutants such as oil, dirt, chemicals, and lawn fertilizers directly to streams and rivers, while agricultural runoff can include sediment, nutrients, pathogens, pesticides, metals, and salts.

While regulations are helping to curb these impacts, you can certainly help by doing your part. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Take time out to stencil storm drains, install a rain barrel or rain garden at your home, school, or business.
  • Cleanup after your car when it spills oil, antifreeze, brake fluid, or other substances.
  • Go to a car wash or wash your car over grass or gravel instead of on the pavement (why this is important).
  • Educate your community about the connection between stormwater and streams.

Do you have other tips for preventing stormwater runoff? Tell us in the comments!