NRCS Earth Team Service Learning Program

Water and Natural Systems Education and Outreach Program
We are looking for 10-12 adult participants in a yearlong service-learning education program. Program participants will meet one day a month for 2 hours and engage in either a service project, learning program, or combination of both.

Topics will cover urban, rural and river water conservation. Participants will learn how to be ‘stormwater managers’ of their own properties (residential, commercial, or governmental) and the larger community, tour local water infrastructure and conservation projects, and engage in existing community-wide volunteer efforts. The objective is for participants to gain a broad understanding of conservation issues and have fun working together towards greater health in our community.

The objective is to create a “team” of both learning and volunteering urban/rural conservationist that can begin to teach others about conservation and build community via practical hands on water and natural systems management. Alumni from the program are encouraged to join other community organizations and continue their involvement with future WRWP NRCS Earth Teams.

Phase 1: Urban Conservation
Phase 1 will help us as a community understand the impact stormwater that lands in your property and in the community until it reaches the river. Phase 1 will run from January through June.

Phase 2: Rural Conservation

Phase 2 will teach how stormwater affects the larger river systems and our overall watershed in our community. This Phase will run through December.

Each session is self contained so feel free to enjoy any one of the programs or continue to enjoy the whole series.

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Phase 1: Urban Conservation
Phase 1 will help us as a community understand the impact stormwater that lands in your property and in the community until it reaches the river. Phase 1 will run from January through May.


January- Stormwater and Property Management

The January WRWP NRCS Meeting will be the kick-off to the first Phase of the educational program. Phase 1 will help us as a community understand the impact stormwater that lands in your property and in the community until it reaches the river. Phase 1 will run from January through June.

January will focus on Stormwater and Property Management and be held on January 29th from 10:00-12:00 at the Maring-Hunt Library Computer Lab. This first program is sponsored by teh Delaware County Department of GIS . This will include an introduction to this yearlong project. This session will introduce the community to the computer programs GIS, Delaware Beacon, Google Earth, and Google Sketch-up. These programs will help in discovering the individual application of understanding one’s property and how water interacts within a site.

February- Rain Barrels and Water Sequestration

The February WRWP NRCS Meeting will be the second session of this year-long (monthly) educational program teaching the community about storm water and property management.

February will give participants a background on stormwater systems, green infrastructure, non-point source pollutants, and Best Management Practices with a more in-depth look at Green Roofs and Water Storage systems.

In order to better understand these practices there will be a tour of the Minnetrista Cultural Center’s demonstration green roof and an optional visit to the Ball Memorial Hospital Green Roof.

March- Rain Gardens, Vegetable Gardens, and Conventional Gardens
The March WRWP NRCS Meeting will be the third session of this educational program teaching the community about stormwater and property management.

March will focus on onsite infiltration such as rain gardens, vegetable gardens, and conventional gardens. This meeting will begin at ____ at ____ on ___. (This session is sponsored by the Indiana Wildlife Federation) This session will introduce lawn care and site grading. By introducing IWF certification, the IWF will also introduce other techniques including Phosphorous Free LawnCare, to use that have a minimal impact on the natural habitat and wildlife. Understanding how to care for your own personal property habitat is vital to site water management. Rain, vegetable, and conventional gardens are a great way to encourage habitat, while maintaining a great garden with the use of proper watering and fertilizer techniques.

April – Urban Large Scale Rain Gardens and Street Swales
The April WRWP NRCS Meeting will be the fourth session of this educational program teaching the community about stormwater and property management.

April will focus on large scale rain gardens and street swales. This meeting will begin at ____ at ____ on ___. (This session is sponsored by the Muncie Department of Stormwater Management). This session will introduce street and urban Best Management Practices in commercial, nonprofit, and governmental organizations. It will also include a red-line bike tour of ____ and a tour of the South Industry Swales Project. This will show how pre-treatment of water can aid in industrial and commercial runoff into storm sewers and CSO’s.

May – Water Treatment Facilities: Municipal and Small Scale Alternatives
The May WRWP NRCS Meeting will be the fifth session of this educational program teaching the community about stormwater and property management.

May will focus on water treatment facilities both municipal and other smaller scale alternatives. This meeting will begin at ____ at ____ on ___. (This session is sponsored the WPCC). This session will include a tour the Water Pollution Control Center. This will provide an understanding of how water is treated within a facility, how much water is processed and cleaned, what it cleans out of the water and what it cannot, how that water can be used, how these facilities respond in storm events, etc. This will provide a comprehensive understanding of two types of stormwater facility systems.

Phase II: Rural Conservation
Phase 2 will teach how stormwater affects the larger river systems and our overall watershed in our community. This Phase will run through December.

June – The River as a water treatment system –
Eco System Services and The importance of Riparian Communties

The June WRWP NRCS Meeting will be the sixth session of this educational program teaching the community about stormwater and property management.

June will focus on River as a water treatment system and other eco-system services. This meeting will begin at ____ at ____ on ___. (This session is sponsored by the White River Watershed Project). This session will provide an introduction to the White River Watershed project and larger regional storm water planning events and issues. It will provide an understanding of how our local water maintenance affects the larger watershed system. This will also provide an opportunity to create a community wide property management plan to focus on common feasible goals for the stormwater management of our community.

July – Identification and Classification of Water Pollutants
The July WRWP NRCS Meeting will be the seventh session of this educational program teaching the community about stormwater and property management.

July will focus on identification and classification of various water pollutants. This meeting will begin at ____ at ____ on ___. (This session is sponsored by the Hoosier River Watch) This session will provide Hoosier River Watch training, to show participants how volunteering can help maintain our watershed. A tour of Camp Munsee will also take place to illustrate how water is the foundation of an ecosystem and the importance in caring for our local and subsequently our larger water system.

August – Rriparian Zones and Wetlands as water purification systems
The August WRWP NRCS Meeting will be the eighth session of this educational program teaching the community about stormwater and property management.

August will focus on wetlands as water purification systems. This meeting will begin at ____ at ____ on ___. (This session is sponsored by the Ball Brothers Foundation). This session will introduce streambank stabilization techniques both natural and constructed. It will introduce GIS as a tool to understanding the past flows of streams and understanding what techniques needed to be utilized to manage the bank. It will also center around a tour of Craddock and Bonham wetlands and understanding these systems as vital to the larger whole. An opportunity to volunteer at EcoBlitz will also be available. EcoBlitz is _(blurb about EcoBlitz).

September – The White River Clean-up
The September WRWP NRCS Meeting will be the ninth session of this educational program teaching the community about stormwater and property management.

September will focus on The White River Clean-up. This meeting will begin at ____ at ____ on ___. (This session is sponsored by the Living Lightly Fair Committee). This session will allow participants to volunteer at the annual White River Clean up, enjoy the Living Lightly Fair, and the FLOW Indianapolis project. This will put our learning into action in understanding how we can begin to make a difference in our community.

October – Forest and Agricultural Conservation
The October WRWP NRCS Meeting will be the tenth session of this educational program teaching the community about stormwater and property management.

October will focus on forest and agricultural conservation. This meeting will begin at ____ at ____ on ___. (This session is sponsored by the Red-tail Conservancy/Audubon). This session will introduce forest, riparian, and agricultural conservation methods. This will provide a new direction to understanding our impact on our local watershed from use through rural farming rather than urban management. This will include a trip to Ag days and the Fun Farm.
This session will also be the introduction of a new educational series focusing on Agricultural Conservation. This series will run from…

November-Community Service Project
The November WRWP NRCS Meeting will be the eleventh session of this educational program teaching the community about stormwater and property management.

November will focus on a group community service project. This meeting will begin at ____ at ____ on ___. (This session is sponsored by—–) This session will be a project determined by the group as a means to implemented learning outcomes as a community project.

December- Celebration
The December WRWP NRCS Meeting will be the last session of this educational program teaching the community about stormwater and property management. If you would like any information about one session or the whole program please contact Colby Gray at cgray@flatlandresources.com.

December will focus celebrating the success of this series and the recruitment of a new program of WRWP Earth Team members. This meeting will begin at ____ at ____ on ___. (This session is sponsored by …..) This session will allow participants to share learning outcomes, thoughts, and reactions about this series and future educational programs in the future.