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LR Earth Day event to address stormwater and green infrastructure
LR Earth Day event to address stormwater and green infrastructure

In recognition of Earth Day, Lenoir-Rhyne University is hosting a virtual showing of the documentary, "Water Blues, Green Solutions" along with a panel discussion afterward looking into different strategies for addressing stormwater runoff and green infrastructure.

The event takes place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 14 leading up to Earth Day on April 22. Registration is required.

The documentary explores innovative green solutions to address water concerns and looks at the impact in New York, Philadelphia, Portland, Oregon, and San Antonio, Texas.

Through this offering, current LR graduate students in the sustainability studies program gain exposure to further application of sustainable practices. The same students have been conducting research since January on community perceptions of stormwater management and green infrastructure in Buncombe County.

"Approaches can range widely, but they often utilize a mix of plants, substrate, rocks and natural systems to more effectively engage the cycle of water," said LR associate professor of sustainability studies Keith McDade, Ph.D. "Green infrastructure can include bioswales, rain gardens, living roofs and much simpler enhancements to protect our waterways, our ecosystems, our wildlife and our communities. There are ways of disconnecting gutter spouts and having them flow away from structures to infiltrate soil and reduce the load reaching our major waterways.

"There are many approaches that vary by the context, and given the increase in paving of land, additional challenges related to climate change, and the critical importance of working effectively with communities, there is much to consider."

Renee Fortner of RiverLink and the Asheville Stormwater Task Force and Tim Ormond of Blue Earth Planning, Engineering and Design and the city's sustainability advisory committee are serving as experts on the panel. They are joined by Casey Cook of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Anna Alsobrook of Mountaintrue and the French Broad Riverkeeper and Furman University's sustainability studies professor Geoffrey Habron, Ph.D. The panel will consider applications and approaches in North Carolina, exploring innovative approaches to addressing stormwater that can benefit waterways, wildlife and communities.

This event is hosted by Lenoir-Rhyne University's Master of Science in sustainability studies program, in partnership with RiverLink, Green Opportunities and Blue Earth Planning, Engineering and Design.