Thursday, June 1, 2017

NEW Story Walk at Hall School!

Many Rivers first and second grade students spent this past semester working with the Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District, (CCSWCD), to develop a story walk for a portion of the City Forest Trail behind Hall School. We're excited to announce that with the help of some awesome parent volunteers, the story walk has officially been installed and open to the public!

Starting in early February, CCSWCD educators began weekly visits with the first and second grade students to learn about the water cycle and protecting our water resources.  Using what they learned, the students then wrote and illustrated a story to be used for the story walk, called "Flow's Amazing Adventure".  The story follows a water droplet on her crazy journey through the water cycle.

This project was made possible with funds from the Greener Neighborhoods Cleaner Streams program in partnership with the Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District.  We would also like to give a big thank you to the amazing Many River's Educators, Carie Garrett and Kristen Wyatt, as well as teaching artist Sarah Boyden.

Join us on Tuesday, June 6th at 5:00pm for a ribbon cutting ceremony and walk through to celebrate the new story walk.  We can't wait for you to see it!

Parent volunteers help install the Story Walk at Hall School.

Deering High School Students Monitor Capisic Brook

As part of our school outreach, educators from the Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District (CCSWCD) have been working with Deering High School students to study the health of Capisic Brook. The students are participating in the University of Maine’s Stormwater Management Research Team (SMART) program, which encourages students to become actively engaged in water quality monitoring at a local water body in their neighborhood.

CCSWCD has been supplementing the student's SMART work to provide them with a better understanding of how actions and activities on the land can impact our water. Lessons focus on how pollutants enter Capisic Brook, their effects on the water and wildlife, and the many different indicators of stream health.

The students also participated in a field trip that taught them how looking at stream life (critters called macroinvertebrates) can tell scientists if pollution is present in the stream. The students stepped into waders and got into Capisic Brook to collect and identify macroinvertebrates.

Students identify macroinvertebrates collected from Capisic Brook.
As part of the SMART program, the students will share their findings with the community. The students are enthusiastic about working with CCSWCD staff to explore different ways to share their information.  Possible outreach includes working with younger students at Longfellow Elementary School, and participating in storm drain stenciling. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Green Neighbor Family Fest 2017!



UPDATE: Because of Saturday’s weather forecast, we are moving all festival activities into the Deering High School gym. The gym is located at the back of the school.

Spring is just around the corner, which means it's almost time for our 6th annual Green Neighbor Family FestJoin us on April 22nd at Deering High School to celebrate Earth Day and clean water with hands on activities, live entertainment, face painting, a bounce house, and more! Not to mention, the festivities are FREE and fun for the whole family.

Stop by the festival early to help cheer on the finishers of the Urban Runoff 5K race and walk. The Urban Runoff helps raise awareness of water pollution and supports clean water education programs in local schools.  Learn more at www.urbanrunoff5k.com.

Added Bonus: Learn about ways to become a green neighbor and be entered into our festival raffle. Last year's winners won Maine State Park passes just in time to venture out for the summer. Stay tuned to find out what this year's give away will be!

Green Neighbor Family Fest

 Saturday, April 22nd | 9:30am - 12:30pm

Deering High School, Portland

FREE



Thursday, November 3, 2016

A New Approach

When we embarked on cleaning up Capisic Brook in 2011, our focus was to help residents make good choices to reduce pollution from their properties. We've had a lot of fun chatting with you all about healthy lawn care, where to dispose of leaves and brush, and the importance of picking up your pet's waste. We are excited to see the changes residents of Capisic Brook neighborhoods are making for clean water!

We think now is the time to try something new. There are several schools close to the Brook. We know students get excited about being outside and exploring their local environment, so we're giving them the opportunity to do just that! Starting in the 2016-2017 school year, we'll be working with teachers and students from Hall Elementary School, Longfellow Elementary School, and Deering High School to teach students about clean water and ways students, parents, and community members can help keep water clean. Each initiative at these schools will include  "service learning," where students learn by working on a project that benefits the community.



Hall School students will be writing and illustrating a story walk with a clean water message. The walk will be installed on their school grounds for students and community members to enjoy.

Longfellow Elementary School students will participate in the Youth YardScaping program for the third year, where they will learn about healthy lawn care practices that won't pollute the Brook. They'll share what they've learned at their spring fair in 2017.

Deering High School students will help assess the healthy of the Brook by conducting various tests and learning the stream life in the Brook.

We'll still be at community fairs to talk about clean water, and the 6th annual Green Neighbor Family Fest is already scheduled for April 22, 2017 (Earth Day!). We're also still here to answer your questions about lawn care, reducing runoff, and being good land and water stewards. Give us a call (207-892-4700) or drop us a line. We'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Harvest in the Hood 2016 is here!

Join us Saturday at "Harvest in the Hood" in Portland for local food, art, music, and more! We'll be talking healthy lawn care and making "Muddy Buddies" for kids to take home. Check out details below. We hope to see you there!



Thursday, June 16, 2016

Storm Drain Art Comes to Portland!

Mural design by local artist, Jada Fitch.
Storm drains line our streets and parking lots to collect rain water and carry it to our local waterways, so why not make them a little more fun? The City of Portland is adding artwork and clean water messages to the storm drains. Check out the Leland Street sidewalk next to Memorial Stadium to see the newly installed artwork!

Why? Aside from being fun to look at, this storm drain art is custom made as a reminder that our storm drains flow directly into our waterways without being cleaned. As rainwater or melted snow flows over hard surfaces, like roads, sidewalks, and parking lots, it picks up pollutants along the way. This pollution includes pet waste, salt, sand, fertilizer, weed and bug killers, and more. The pollutants and water makes their way through our storm drains and out into local streams, rivers, and the ocean. Here in Portland, that means pollution can easily find its way into Casco Bay!

Here are 3 simple things Portland residents are doing to help keep Casco Bay clean:

  1. Cleaning Up After Pets - Bag it AND trash it.
  2. Car Washing Smart - Avoid soapy water runoff by washing on the lawn or going to a commercial car wash.
  3. Healthy Lawn Care Practices - Reduce your use of fertilizer and weed and bug killers - check out Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District's YardScape page for more info.
Kat Munson from the Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District
installs a storm drain mural.

Mural installed on Leland Street sidewalk.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

5th Annual Green Neighbor Family Fest - April 23rd

Join us for Earth Day fun at the 5th annual Green Neighbor Family Fest! Take part in hands-on activities about water, learn steps to becoming a green neighbor, and have an all-around good time!

Date: Saturday, April 23, 2016
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Location: Deering High School, Stevens Avenue, Portland
Cost: FREE!

Bring your family, friends, and neighbors for face painting, live music, and fun activities about clean water, healthy soil, clean energy, and other "green" themes! It's sure to be a fantastic time!

The Green Neighbor Family Fest is held in conjunction with the Urban Runoff 5k, which raises awareness of water pollution and supports clean water education programs in local schools. Learn more at www.urbanrunoff5k.com.