For Cole Williams, a move to the Mississippi River’s edge in Newport just south of South St. Paul several years ago both shocked and awakened the river-lover within. Since then, her 150 feet of riverfront has been her water quality teacher.
The sheer amount of plastic that landed in her front yard after her first winter inspired her to ask “What is the water system?” Once she learned that all of the city’s storm drains go directly into the river, she was inspired to take on this “big world problem.” She began painting storm drains, avoiding single-use plastics, becoming a drop-off site for hard plastics, dedicating part of her lawn to pervious surfaces, while continuing to collect leaves, grass-clippings and dog waste.
“It was a profound extrapolation for me,” she said — so eye-opening, in fact, that she decided to commit one year (2015-2016) to getting to know the river as well as possible.
See the rest of William’s story at Clean Water MN
You can help keep your lake or river clean too, whether you’re ten blocks away, or right at the waters edge. Keep your stormdrains clear of leaves and trash. Consider applying stickers from the watershed district to the drains you clear.