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|September 20, 2011||October 21, 2010|
|November 8, 2011
On March 31, 13 students from Crestwood High School braved the rain to clean up trash from Turkey Creek in Sumter. This urban stream carries stormwater from the east side of town into the Pocotaligo River. The group removed eight tires, the remains of three TVs, and other trash and debris from the stream and roadside. We appreciate them doing their part to keep Sumter's water clean!
On Jan. 17, 2012, 42 participants attended our second Stormwater Basics Workshop: Establishing Vegetative Cover. The workshop included field demonstrations of equipment and techniques as well as classroom presentations. Participants learned about preparing the site, seed selection, seeding rates, balancing pH, stabilizing water channels, and many other topics. Contractors can't close out a project without 70% permanent cover on the site. This workshop provided them the information they need to achieve that goal.
On September 17, volunteers picked up 32 bags of trash and 10 bags of recyclables from a stormwater channel behind the Sumter Mall which flows into Shot Pouch Creek and Swan Lake. River Sweep is a statewide annual event organizing volunteers to pick up trash from beaches, rivers and streams throughout South Carolina. Thanks everyone for your help in protecting Sumter's streams! See more photos on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/midlandsstormwater!
On August 12 & 16, volunteers and Sumter County Staff installed a rain garden at Patriot Park to capture and treat water from the parking lot and soccer fields. A rain garden is a flower bed set lower than the surrounding area so that rain drains into it, where it has a chance to sink into the soil. Plants and soil microbes break down toxins like oil, gasoline, and fertilizer in the runoff, making the water cleaner and recharging the groundwater table.
On May 14, 12 participants built 17 rain barrels to catch the water from their roofs. This water can be used to water gardens, wash your car, and more! Rain barrels save water, save money, and reduce stormwater runoff. And building one is lots of fun!
Did you know? A 1-inch rain storm falling on a 1000 square foot roof generates 6oo gallons of water!
Volunteers from Shaw Airforce Base and the Sumter community came out to Manchester Forest on May 7, 2011 to cleanup trash. Sadly, many people use this beautiful natural area as an illegal dumping site.
Sumter's Earth Day celebration at Swan Lake Iris Gardens was a big hit again this year! Participants made paper, got to pet a snake, took home free plants, and learned all about the many organizations in Sumter dedicated to taking care of the planet. At the Sumter Stormwater Solutions table, visitors explored how watersheds work, and one lucky family won a rain barrel to take home!
Saturday April 9, 2011 twelve volunteers made a removed almost a ton of trash from Hatchet Camp Branch, a stream that flows past Delaine Elementary on Cane Savannah Road. Along the road, the stream has been channelized, but it becomes a wetland just past the school, and flows into Pocotaligo River. Wetlands filter pollution, store water to reduce flooding and provide wildlife habitat, but they can't serve any of these valuable functions if they are clogged with trash. Many of the volunteers were students from Crestwood High School, led by biology teacher Tom Higginbotham.
On February 22, 2011, six Caddette Girl Scouts from Troop 5111 participated in Sumter Stormwater Solutions storm drain marking initiative by marking the drains in the Trailwood neighborhood of Sumter. In less than two hours these enthusiastic young ladies placed 39 drain markers and distributed 150 door hangers throughout the neighborhood! Drain markers remind residents that storm drains empty directly to streams and rivers. Only rain down the stormdrain! If your group would like to participate in the storm drain marking program, contact Mary Nevins at 803-865-1216 to sign up your group today.
On Sept. 18th, 17 volunteers cleaned up trash from Shot Pouch Creek near the YMCA, as a part of the statewide Beach Sweep/River Sweep annual cleanup initiative. Volunteers picked up a dozen bags of trash, three bags of recyclables, two tires, and other assorted junk. Sumter High School also joined in the effort earlier in the week with a cleanup of the wetlands around their Environmental Center. Thanks, volunteers, for all of your hard work!
On November 11 2010, Clemson Extension held a Pond Management Workshop, taught by Extension agent Cory Heaton. 35 participants learned about fish species, stocking rates, fertilizing their ponds, and managing aquatic weeds. Ponds in Sumter serve many functions, including stormwater retention, livestock watering, irrigation, and recreation. Keeping a pond clean with a healthy ecosystem can be tricky! Information is available from the SC Department of Natural Resources, including their comprehensive Pond Management Guide.
Sumter Stormwater Solutions held two rain barrel workshops in spring 2010, one for the public and one special for Master Gardeners. Want your own rain barrel? Check back for more workshop dates, or download our Easy Rain Barrel Instructions from the Lexington Countywide Stormwater Consortium.
The Iris Festival at Swan Lake was a big hit as always. Sumter Master Gardeners shared green gardening tips, and Sumter Stormwater Solutions had a hands on watershed model for children to explore pollutants in a community.
At Sumter's Earth Day Celebration, visitors learned all about living green in Sumter. Sumter County Public Works featured information about recycling, rain barrels, rain gardens and pollution prevention. Despite the rainy weather, the day was a lot of fun!
The South Carolina State Envirothon is a competition for high school students to demonstrate their environmental knowledge through problem-solving and hands on challenges. To help students prepare in 2010, the Sumter Soil and Water Conservation District is holding training sessions on the subjects covered in the competition. Carolina Clear provided training on Aquatics, including watersheds, groundwater, regulations, aquatic invertebrates, and more.
On December 1 2009, Sumter Soil and Water Conservation District put on a free workshop for professionals on the basics of stormwater management. The workshop was attended by staff from Sumter, Richland and Lexington Counties, City of Columbia, SCDOT, SCDHEC, and a number of engineering, development, construction, and landscaping firms. Focusing on erosion prevention, the morning session included classroom lectures on correct use and installation of silt fencing, erosion control mats, grass establishment, and other tools, as well as new laws governing sediment leaving construction sites. The afternoon portion included hands-on demonstrations of hydroseeding, silt fencing, erosion control mats, and inlet protection. Ensuring that professionals know how to use these "basic" measures correctly will reduce sediment from construction sites, one of the most serious pollutants in Sumter County water bodies.
Stormwater solutions made a big splash at the 2009 Sumter County Fair, Sept. 29-Oct. 3, with a booth by Public Works featuring rain barrels and rain gardens. Their beautiful display included a barrel like the ones made at the August rain barrel workshop, complete with gutter and running water! Other education partners who took part in the fair included the Sumter County Master Gardeners with a display on mulch, and the Sumter Soil and Water Conservation District with an exhibit on soils and their importance to farmers.