The Silver City Watershed Keepers (SCWK) and the Aldo Leopold Charter School (ALCS) Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) completed labeling of 120 storm drains in Silver City to encourage stewardship of Silver City’s watershed. The collaborative project is an effort to raise awareness of non-point source pollution and the need to protect our water quality. Storm drains act as conduits for pollution from our streets. The labels remind community members that the streets of Silver City are all connected to the waters of Silva, Pinos Altos, and San Vicente creeks, and that by keeping our city streets and storm drains clean, we will be working to ensure that our waterways and downstream parks are a safer place too.
Over the course of 4 weeks, a crew of seven students from Aldo Leopold Charter School YCC labeled 120 storm drains within the Town of Silver City limits, with a blue and green label that says “Don’t Pollute (¡No Contamine!) Flows To Waterways.”
Storm drains act as conduits for pollution. When there is a storm event, drains collect debris and residues from city streets, and funnel pollutants into our public waterways. Street-based pollution can exist in many forms, such as: trash (plastic bags, Styrofoam cups, etc.), motor oil, gas and exhaust particles from cars and parking lots, soap suds from car washes and laundromats, bacteria from pet waste, fertilizers from gardens, and even salts from de-icing. All of these pollutants affect water quality and can impact how our waterways and downstream parks/open spaces look and feel.
The labels remind community members that the streets of Silver City are all connected to the waters of Silva, Pinos Altos, and San Vicente creeks, and that by keeping our city streets and storm drains clean, we will be working to ensure that our waterways and downstream parks are a safer place too.
The storm drain labeling project was a collaborative effort of the Silver City Watershed Keepers, Aldo Leopold Charter School Youth Conservation Corps, Gila Resources Information Project, the Town of Silver City, and Stream Dynamics, Inc. The ALCS YCC crew included: Banyan Claussen, Charlotte Sierra, Holly Hayes (crew leader), Jordan Albidrez, Mary Stone, Matthew Varele, and Mitchell Joy. The YCC crew worked with the help, guidance, and training of Andrew Lindlof, VISTA staffer at Gila Resources Information Project, and Van Clothier, owner of Stream Dynamics, Inc.
Established in 2010 by the Gila Resources Information Project, the Silver City Watershed Keepers is currently the only citizens’ environmental monitoring group in southwest New Mexico.
Through this citizen science effort, our town joins hundreds of other communities whose concerned residents volunteer their time to observe and record local environmental conditions. These volunteers come in all ages and skill levels, and the information they collect is invaluable to their communities. Data collected from these groups have effectively identified the unique environmental issues affecting hundreds of watersheds nationwide. The SCWK also coordinates outreach and education events and trash cleanups.
For more information or to become a volunteer, contact Andrew Lindlof at the GRIP office at 575-538-8078 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org