UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Stormwater has become an ever-increasing issue for communities, property owners, and natural habitats. To educate the public about green infrastructure and ways to handle stormwater, Penn State Extension will offer the “Water Wise Webinar Series” in collaboration with West Pikeland Township’s Environmental Advisory Council.
The three-part webinar series will take place in September and October at no cost to participants. The series is designed for anyone concerned about flooding and heavy storm events, green infrastructure, and drinking and recreational water quality, as well as for anyone interested in local solutions related to these issues.
Organizers note that streams have turned from tranquil places of beauty to torrents as downpours intensify. Home and property owners experience flooding in basements and property damage and loss. Communities deal with road and bridge closures as stormwater overwhelms infrastructure.
“Growing Water Wise: Introducing Green Infrastructure,” the first webinar in the series, will occur from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22. The webinar will cover:
— What green infrastructure is and how it works.
— Attractive green stormwater features that can retain stormwater runoff.
— Ways to reduce stormwater runoff.
Participants will learn about green infrastructure terms such as “bioswales,” “retention basins,” and “riparian buffers.” Instructors will discuss lessons learned from monitoring and maintaining three different stormwater designs that are part of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative, funded in part by the William Penn Foundation.
“Growing Water Wise: Becoming Water Wise,” the second webinar, will take place from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5. According to organizers, any property owner can reduce stormwater runoff and improve water quality by keeping the rain where it falls and reducing contamination. Penn State Extension helped create the Watershed Friendly Property Certification Program to expand the number of watershed-friendly properties throughout Pennsylvania. Instructors will discuss the program and answer questions.
Attendees can learn about backyard solutions to increase pollinators and wildlife and ways to reduce stormwater runoff, pollution and water waste.
“Growing Water Wise: Future Stormwater Challenges,” the third webinar, will occur from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26. Instructors will utilize rainfall data to discuss what the future may hold for stormwater runoff in local streams. The session will cover ways to reduce streambank erosion and how improving existing stormwater infrastructure can enhance stream health.
More information about the series is available on the Penn State Extension website at https://extension.psu.edu/
All three events are free. However, registration is required by 8 p.m. on each webinar date to receive the link to access the live webinar. Registrants also will receive access to the webinar recording.
–Alexandra McLaughlin, Penn State University