00-0816R

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE PROPER CITY OFFICERS TO APPLY FOR AND ACCEPT A $27,000 GRANT FROM THE MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES TO BE USED FOR A WATERSHED EDUCATION PROGRAM.

BY COUNCILOR FENA:

WHEREAS, the stormwater utility of the city of Duluth has developed a plan for designing a watershed education program which will provide a pre-Kindergarten through Sixth grade curriculum available to local schools to be piloted at Stowe School in Duluth; and

WHEREAS, the city has met with Stowe School, University of Minnesota Duluth Center for Environmental Education and Great Lakes Aquarium to develop a plan for designing and administering the program; and

WHEREAS, the education program will address requirements for the educational informational component for development of a NPDES Phase II permit for the city of Duluth; and

WHEREAS, the state of Minnesota, through the Minnesota department of natural resources, division of waters administers financial assistance for coastal management purposes, through Minnesota's Lake Superior coastal program; and

WHEREAS, the city of Duluth desires financial assistance from the coastal management assistance program for the purpose of developing and pilot testing of the program.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the proper city officials are hereby authorized to prepare and submit a grant application to the Minnesota department of natural resources in an amount of $27,000 for a 60 percent federal share of funding for the watershed education program.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the proper city officers are authorized to execute any and all of the grant agreements necessary for the implementation of said grant and that the city of Duluth does agree to provide local matching funds of $18,000 from Fund 535, Org. 0585, Obj. 5303 if the grant is awarded. Such funds shall be deposited into Fund 535, Revenue Source 4230.


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  The city of Duluth stormwater utility will work in cooperation with Stowe Environmental School, Great Lakes Aquarium, Park Point Community Club and the University of Minnesota Center for Environmental Education (CEED) to develop a watershed education program for children in the primary grades. The watershed program would provide children with the opportunity to identify their home watersheds and learn ways to take responsibility for maintaining and protecting their watersheds.

The program would adapt existing available material geared to grade level (pre-Kindergarten through Sixth), piloted pre-Kindergarten through Fifth to specific Duluth creeks and streams, the St. Louis River and Lake Superior to enable the children to achieve a strong ownership of the watershed in which they live. The program would build units for each grade level for activities that could be built upon throughout the academic year. Projects would be designed for the field and the classroom.

Students will trace the route of stormwater from the catch basin by their home to the local stream (Sargent Creek, or the three smaller drainages), to the river, and ultimately, to Lake Superior. They will learn about the ways in which the water is affected by what we do and how to prevent pollution by developing practices in their homes. Students will take an active roll in stream quality by adopting a local stream and helping to ensure its quality.

Projects will allow the students to go on site and work with streams with the assistance of graduate students from CEED to complete projects such as cleaning the stream edge, looking for possible pollution sites, and water quality testing. Students will have the opportunity to work with storm water employees in the televising of storm drains and dye tracing of catch basins.

Great Lakes Aquarium staff will provide scientific assistance to expand the program. Staff will provide simple tests and experiments and review programs prior to implementation appropriate to grade levels and work with teachers to implement the experiments.

The year will culminate in a watershed festival where children have the opportunity to share their knowledge with their parents and community.

Materials developed in the program will be gathered to form a written curriculum that can be used by grade level in other schools throughout community through the school system, the stormwater utility and the Great Lakes Aquarium and shared with other communities interested in developing similar educational programs.

The requested grant is for $27,000 to be matched by $18,000 with the city acting as fiscal agent. The city will provide approximately $10,000 in match in 2001 and 2002 with $2000 in kind staff time match. The remaining match will be in-kind be provided through Stowe School including cash and in-kind staff time and aquarium education cost reductions.