“Protecting Lake Michigan Water Quality Starts with Me!” Environmental Outreach Project
CHECK OUT OUR PROJECT VIDEOS
Healthy Homes are Superheroes (K-4)
Healthy Homes are Superheroes (5-12)
When it Rains, it Pours (K-4)
When it Rains, it Pours (5-12)
Lake Michigan Coastal Program Video
The Lake County Solid Waste Management District is an independent, public solid waste management district providing solid waste planning, technical assistance, and financial support to Lake County municipalities. Every year, the District’s Environmental Educators deliver hundreds of free environmental education (EE) interpretive programs to thousands of preschoolers and kindergarten through twelfth grade (K-12th) students. All of the District’s EE outreach programs include age-appropriate experiential learning that is matched to state-approved curriculum standards.
The Lake County Solid Waste Management District (District) requested $50,000 in federal Lake Michigan Coastal Program (LMCP) funds for the “Protecting Lake Michigan Water Quality Starts with Me!” environmental outreach project. The project developed and implemented two (2) water quality protection environmental education programs that combine “hands-on” instruction with interactive computer-based video programs and video quiz games to engage “technology-based learners.” The program also includes an informational video showcasing Lake County LMCP low-cost construction (306A) projects to promote public visitation at these sites and a guided-tour brochure to allow adults and families to experience the Environmental Education Center.
All activities are conducted at the District’s Environmental Education Center (EEC) located in Hammond’s Robertsdale neighborhood near Whiting. The innovative EEC features Indiana’s only Indoor Trout Stream providing a living water quality protection demonstration. The EEC is highly visible and located on Calumet Avenue across from Wolf Lake Park and Pavilion. The EEC hosts field trips for schools and community-based youth groups from Lake County, Indiana. The EEC is open to the public Tuesdays through Fridays from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.
The goal of the outreach project is to promote water quality protection environmental stewardship through experiential and technology-based environmental education. The outreach combines engaging interactive video productions displayed on a multi-screen, wall-mounted “Water Wall” and "hands-on" water quality instruction to raise awareness of water quality threats. The EE outreach programs empower K-12th grade students to practice water quality protection stewardship at home, school, and play. The guided-tour brochure encourages adults to practice water quality protection stewardship, as well.
Project Outreach Activities and Deliverables
The project has produced interactive videos and experiential learning water quality protection instructional programs. The EE outreach programs are identified as:
(1) When it Rains, it Pours…Pollution into the Lake Michigan Watershed;
(2) Healthy Homes are Superheroes! Protecting Lake Michigan, our Families, and our Pets;
(3) Experience and Enjoy Lake County’s Lake Michigan Coastal Program Destinations promotional video; and,
(4) An EEC Guided-Tour brochure for adults.
The When it Rains, it Pours… Pollution into the Lake Michigan Watershed EE outreach programs introduces the concepts of source and nonpoint source pollution to K-12th grade students. The project includes two (2) interactive videos to teach nonpoint source pollution messages targeting younger (K-4) and older (5-12) students, respectively. The programs utilize age-appropriate science curriculum modules – delivered through the interactive video display and “hands on” teaching – to teach students how storm water run-off causes nonpoint source pollution. The video for younger students includes an interactive quiz game where students earn “points” by correctly identifying nonpoint source pollution causes and strategies to prevent it from entering the watershed. The video productions and quiz games utilize the multimedia “Water Wall” display.
The Healthy Homes are Superheroes! Protecting Lake Michigan, our Families, and our Pets EE outreach programs raises awareness that many commonly used home, garden, and lawn products contain toxic chemicals that threaten water quality and household health and safety. The project includes two age-appropriate videos for K-4 and 5-12 grade students. The 6th-12th grade student interactive video program includes an interactive quiz game where students earn “points” for correctly identifying toxic threats and preventing water pollution. These EE outreach programs utilize age-appropriate science curriculum modules delivered through the interactive “Water Wall” and “hands on” instruction. This EE outreach program encourages the students’ households to participate in free Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Events to protect water quality.
Project Costs and Fees
All District environmental education programs are provided free-of-charge. Due to financial constraints, the District cannot offer its programming to students, schools, groups, or organizations outside Lake County, Indiana.
The District is not contracted by any municipality or other entity to provide water quality protection outreach services for any MS4 program requirements. The District’s water quality EE programs are not claimed or reported by any organization as part of its local MS4 programming or funding.
Funding for this project was provided in part by the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the
Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Lake Michigan Coastal Program