The Truckee Meadows Watershed Committee, a partnership between the cities of Reno and Sparks, and Washoe County and Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful, will hold a volunteer-based urban watershed storm drain stenciling day, focusing on protecting the Truckee River from urban pollution.
The Urban Watershed Awareness Day doesn’t necessarily need volunteers at this point, said Deidre Kennelly, program director for Keeping Truckee Meadows Beautiful. Some 40 people from the area have already signed up to help spend the say stenciling a fish and the words to warn people not to dump nasty junk down the drains that run directly into the river.
“The Truckee River is our biggest source of drinking water here in the Truckee Meadows: our native fish need cool, clean water, we need it, and our future generations need it ... learn how we can protect our Truckee River every day through our actions at home or work!” stated the release sent out by the City of Reno.
The day will begin at 8 a.m. with groups of volunteers meeting in sections of the city to begin stenciling, Kennelly said.
“It’s important for citizens, landscapers, and everyone to remember that gutter flow carries everything in its path into the Truckee River,” advises Lynell Garfield-Qualls, City of Reno Hydrologist. “This includes fertilizers from our lawns, pesticides, pet waste, oils, and fallen fruit and leaves. We need to keep polluted runoff out of the storm drain system.”
To find out more about what can be done to help the Truckee River, visit www.tmstormwater.com, or call 775-851-5185 to contact staff at Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful.
Call 775-334-3395 to find out how to stop pollution and protect creeks and river. For more ideas about how to get involved in watershed protection with Service Learning/Stewardship Opportunities, visit the City of Reno’s Truckee River Watershed page at http://www.reno.gov/Index.aspx?page=1968 or click on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kennelly said the group hopes today’s efforts will help educate the community about dumping dangerous materials into drains that run directly into the river.
“We just want to show people and give the message to tell people that it’s important to keep that storm drain clean,” she said. “It doesn’t get filtered at all.”
The group stenciled some 200 drains at the last event.
“It’s important to get the message out,” she said. “One thing I can say is that I spoke with the district manager of the parks district. The trash is insurmountable. People are utilizing the river like crazy. Pack out what you pack in. Trash is a huge problem along the Truckee River. It is important to keep that clean on the surface as well.”
Living in a windy city can be tricky, she said.
“We need to keep our trash secured,” she said. “We need to make sure everything is in a bag or it can definitely end up in the river or in a storm drain.”