Return to ECHO Homepage
Below The Surface

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dialogues and Solutions a Big Hit!

Many thanks to all the folks who drove great distances to join us Monday night, March 21st, for a solutions-based conversation following the showing of the movie BLOOM: The Plight of Lake Champlain. We had about 100 people who enjoyed local beers, hors d’oeuvres from Sugar Snap and, most importantly, fabulous dialogue! Our BLOOM, Dialogue and Solutions evening achieved everything we hoped it would which was to bring together citizens, watershed experts and organizations so that folks would leave at the end with a laundry list of immediate and very doable actions. After our facilitated groups came back together, they shared their top two picks which I’ll share with you now.

Agriculture: Farmers have made incredible strides in water quality improvements with their farming techniques in recent years.

1. The farming group felt there was a need for better communication between stake-holders. We’re all in this together. There needs to better communication between farmers and neighbors, between farmers and farmers, farmers and the community resulting in better understanding of what’s happening on the fields and what’s needed by the community.

2. The farmers would like data to show that their practices are making a difference. They would love it if someone wanted to do a study to approach them and inform them of how they could help this way.

Urban: Storm water carries many unwanted pollutants from our rooftops, paved driveways, parking lots, and roads. These pollutants eventually make it to our rivers, streams and finally to our Lake. Here we will share some solutions that reduce these types of pollutants from the materials we use to the habits we have.

1. Replace asphalt with porous driveway materials. There is citizen power within our own spaces for improvement.

2. What about the Lake? Watch the rain in rainstorms and see where the water is going. Perhaps make a water map around your community that can lead to specific neighborhood actions.

Home Owners: There are things we can do in our everyday lives that can make an immediate difference in our water quality. This group will focus on those actions as diverse as what we do with our kitty litter to the kinds of chemicals we put on our lawn and gardens.

1. Reach as many people as possible creatively emphasizing simple messages.

2. Make a better connection with community through neighborhood-specific educational programs, share via block parties, Front Porch Forum.

We also had fliers and other information supplied by the Lake Champlain Committee, Lake Champlain Basin Program, CSWD, and the Intervale Nursery Center. I encourage you to go to their websites to find electronic versions of materials which have pages of tips you can follow in your everyday lives, lists of stewardship organizations, planting recommendations for rain gardens and more.

We’re hoping to post many of the solutions on our blog and encourage all of you to make a contribution to our facebook page, twitter or our Voicesforthelake.org website. Plus, we’re mapping out our adult evening schedule so that we will have many more opportunities to incorporate dialogue, stewardship, and fun into evenings like this. So here is my challenge to you. Can you help us with this project? Please join me by sharing your stories of good practices in your neighborhood, farm or home!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing with good, helpful, useful tips. If you are searching for cheap insurance quotes, it needs to know that when you get cheap home insurance quotes, you save much more on rates from home insurers.

    ReplyDelete