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Northwest Arkansas Urban Stormwater Education Program

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What is the NWA Urban Stormwater Education Program?

Nineteen Northwest Arkansas cities, Benton and Washington counties, and the University of Arkansas are partnering with the U of A Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service and the NWA Regional Planning Commission on a regional approach to stormwater management. Both EPA and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality have recognized the collaborative NWA Urban Stormwater Education Program as an innovative and effective pollution prevention education effort to help protect the region's water resources.

 

Participating Municipal Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s)

 

 Extension's urban stormwater education program efforts include:

Program Planning

  • MS4 representatives serve on the NWA Stormwater Compliance Group (meet monthly)
  • MS4s representatives serve on the Stormwater Education Steering Committee (meet annually)
  • Both groups identify educational needs, target audiences, program methods and provide annual input/evaluation

Mass Media and Outreach

  • Newspaper articles, television coverage and radio interviews
  • Educational displays, staffed informational booths at fairs and festivals
  • Printed fact sheets, self-assessment guides, bookmarks and stickers
  • Creek signs to promote watershed stewardship
  • Monthly teacher curriculum resource e-newsletters
  • NWAStormwater Ed Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and pollution prevention video podcasts
  • UpStream Art storm drain murals

Youth Audiences

  • Programs for youth participants in schools, 4-H Clubs, Scout troops, and summer camps
  • Hands-on classroom and creekside programs emphasize the water cycle, watershed dynamics, ecosystems, and pollution prevention
  • Classroom programs and teacher In-Service trainings that support the required Science Frameworks and Benchmarks in Arkansas

Adult Audiences

  • Educational programs for civic groups, conservation organizations, garden clubs and municipal officials emphasize techniques to manage stormwater and protect the quality of regional water resources
  • Homeowners and garden enthusiasts are engaged in building their own rain barrels to reduce stormwater runoff and enhance water conservation
  • Construction site stormwater management education conducted during pre-construction meetings with participating MS4s 
  • Annual MS4 municipal employee stormwater management trainings:

Conducted for planning, Engineering, Code Enforcement, Streets & Transportation, Water & Wastewater, Parks & Recreation departmental staff

Training emphases include stormwater regulations, municipal codes, construction site runoff management, municipal pollution prevention, detecting illicit discharges, and riparian management

Workshops and Conferences

  • Host EPA Region 6 MS4 Operators and IECA Muddy Water Blues conferences
  • Coordinate MS4 Stormwater Management, Construction Stormwater, EPA Green Infrastructure conferences
  • Coordinate the "Blue Pathways" series of workshops promoting rainwater harvesting and low impact landscaping designs 

 

#KnowTheFlowNWA

 Logos for Know the Flow campaign, UACES, and NWA Stormwater