Septic System Awareness Week, River Clean Up Updates, and More!
View this email in your browser

GVMC Department of Environmental Programs

Seasonal Newsletter
Fall 2017

Featured Photo

Grand River by Jim Allan


You can become a champion of the Watershed!
Become a member of LGROW today.
F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
F O L L O W on I N S T A G R A M
F O L L O W on T W I T T E R
V I S I T our W E B S I T E



Treating Stormwater Naturally

The Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds (LGROW) has recently been awarded the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's 5 Star Urban Waters Grant. Through this grant LGROW and its partners will work towards reducing the volume of stormwater runoff in the Rogue River, Plaster Creek, and Indian Mill Creek Watersheds. This will be done through the installation of rain gardens that will capture, absorb, and filter stormwater runoff in these areas. We have partnered with other professionals who will help to create a training manual, provide native plants, and much more to help us reach our goal. Through this program we will train and certify green infrastructure contractors so that there is a sustainable work force past the grant period to ensure the success of the rain gardens. We will be installing at least one public demonstration site in each of these watersheds to attract and educate the public. We will be holding community meetings in each watershed and will be looking for volunteers and homeowners interested in planting their own rain gardens at their homes. You can learn more about his project and how to get started with a site assessment here.


Partners: LGROW, Grand Valley Metro Council (GVMC), City of Grand Rapids, Trout Unlimited, Native Plant Guild, Plaster Creek Stewards, Friends of Indian Mill Creek, WMEAC, Michigan DEQ

Septic System Awareness Week

September 18 - 22, 2017

One in five U.S. homes have septic systems. Is yours one of them? (Hint: check your water bill, if there is no sewer charge, or if you don't get a water bill, then you likely have a septic system) If your septic system is not properly maintained you may be risking your family’s health, hurting the environment, and flushing thousands of dollars down the drain.

EPA’s SepticSmart initiative is a nation-wide public education effort with resources for homeowners, local organizations, and government leaders. Learn how septic systems work and get simple, everyday tips on how to properly maintain them:


  • Top 10 Ways to Be a Good Septic Owner PDF
  • Quick Steps to Keep Your SepticSmart PDF
  • SepticSmart Brochure - English PDF
  • SepticSmart Brochure - Spanish PDF

Read more here

Watershed and Partner News

The summer ended with a couple of great events, the 14th Annual Mayors' Grand River Clean Up, September 9, 2017 hosted by WMEAC and the 22nd Annual Thornapple River Cleanup, September 16, 2017 hosted by the Thornapple River Watershed Council. More than 1000 people volunteered across West Michigan to help clean up the Grand River and some of its tributaries, including the Indian Mill Creek and Thornapple River. If you are interested in participating in future clean up events visit

Photos from clean up events below

Monarch Migration

Slow and Steady
The migration picked up its pace in the Eastern Flyway this week, with the first roost report and several peak reports along the Atlantic coast.

In the Central Flyway, this peak report announced the main migration's arrival in Kansas.

"There was a large push of Monarchs coming out of the northeast all morning," reported Nelson Curry on September 12th of Atchison, Kansas

Watch for a big push on Saturday when a cold front moves into the region with strong north winds. Let's see if the butterflies hitch a ride.

Monarchs, Hurricanes, and Citizen Science
Fall migration occurs during hurricane season. This year's hurricanes have raised concerns. Over the years — from Hurricane Floyd in 1999 to Hurricane Harvey in 2017 — people have contributed examples of how monarchs were affected. This week's photo gallery features our collection.

Information from

Monarch Butterfly Migration Map

Click the map to view this years migration and to report your sightings.

Upcoming Events

Septic Smart Awareness Week

September 18-22, 2017

For more details click here

Invasive Species Management Course (6 part)

September 14, 2017 - October 19, 2017   6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Kellogg Bird Sanctuary (map)

For more details click here


Sturgeon Fun Paddle and Traditional Sturgeon Release

September 23, 2017   9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Henning Park (map)

For more details click here

Save our Local Farms, Save our Local Food Conference

October 4, 2017   1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Blandford Nature Center (map)

For more details click here


Stream Insect Monitoring

October 14, 2017   9:00 AM -  1:00 PM
Rockford Community Cabin (map)

For more details click here

LGROW Social Hour

October 26, 2017   3:30 PM -  6:00 PM
Creston Brewery (map)

For more details click here

Click the image above to RSVP

LGROW Spotlight

Meet the newest member of the LGROW team, Cara Decker. Cara is the new stormwater program coordinator here at LGROW and will be working closely with MS4 permitted communities. Cara has an environmental engineering background, specifically in environmental compliance. She has worked in private industry, and most recently worked as a civilian engineer for the US Navy. She and her husband quit their civilian jobs in May 2016, sold most of their possessions, and traveled the world for a year. Cara is a Michigan native and she is excited to be back in the Great Lakes State!

Welcome to the team Cara!

Become a Watershed Warrior


Questions or comments?

Copyright © 2017 Grand Valley Metropolitan Council and LGROW, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
678 Front Ave. NW
Suite 200
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Add us to your address book
" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #434547;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">Add us to your address book

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Grand Valley Metropolitan Council · 678 Front Ave NW, Suite 200 · Grand Rapids, Michigan 49504 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp