New Branches Charter Academy


Project Description:
Middle school students teamed up with well-known local artist Reb Roberts to create a nonpoint source pollution educational art campaign. Students painted both storm drains on the road approaching the school, which was then connected by a mural illustrating the effects of nonpoint source pollution on waterways and suggestions for prevention. Students took part in a culminating celebration to unveil their artwork to the community, which was very well-attended. The sixth-grade students visited the GVSU science boat to perform water quality tests and compare the river water with the water of Lake Michigan. All sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students participated in Mark Walton’s seminar educating the students about the negative effects of water runoff from land and storm drains on the watershed, and the actions that could reduce the amount of nonpoint source pollution entering our water systems. In addition, all students toured the Plaster Creek Watershed and followed the storm drains to the park. They made observations during rain events and learned how the rush of storm water had an immediate effect on Plaster Creek. Finally, Plaster Creek Watershed Stewards presented an educational slide show to all middle school students, giving information about storm water issues and solutions.

Fostering Lifelong Stewardship:
Students have a deeper connection to their waterways and know how to communicate about threats to it.

Partners:
City of Grand Rapids Environmental Services Department, GVMC/LGROW, Calvin College - Plaster Creek Stewards, Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission, GVSU AWRI, Sanctuary Folk Art, MI Stormwater Floodplain Assoc, Kent Conservation District,

Teachers:
3

Students:
95

Funder:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

Showcase Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEOTgiZq0r0