‘Water Flowing By'

| 22 Feb 2012 | 01:33

    County Planning Department hosts Sept. 17 workshop about water protection at Sterling Forest Visitor’s Center TUXEDO — The Orange County Municipal Planning Federation and the Orange County Planning Department will be sponsoring “Water Flowing By,” a discussion of the nature of water, designed for elected officials, municipal board members, community leaders, activists, educators and planning professionals on Sept. 17 at the Sterling Forest Visitor’s Center at 116 Old Forge Road in Tuxedo, The workshop’s goal is to draw attention to water, to invigorate enthusiasm for water protection among professionals, and to encourage planning for water resources across political boundaries. Art experimentation Laurie Seeman, director of Strawtown Art & Garden Studio, will use hands-on scientific observation and art experimentation to demonstrate the importance of using green infrastructure to better preserve water. The preservation of water resources through green design has gained the attention of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which has issued draft changes to its Stormwater Management Design Manual. These changes include the use of undisturbed areas, vegetated buffers, reduced clearing and grading, avoiding sensitive areas, reduced impervious areas and soil restoration to reduce runoff. Seeman will guide participants through water drop, vortex and meander experiments, allowing close observation of the key generative forces of the hydrological cycle. She will also demonstrate how questioning and personal observation leads to new thinking around both the appreciation and utility of water. Three water sources Ed Helbig, conservation education coordinator for the OC Water Authority, will present a snapshot of Orange County’s water resources. Participants will learn about the three main waters sources used by Orange County residents and the geology of those sources. Data identifying harmful impacts to rivers, streams, water bodies, wetlands, groundwater and underlying aquifers will be presented. Large scale hard-copy maps will be used to illustrate these surface and groundwater resources and to identify their locations in reference to participants’ home municipalities. Matt Shook, assistant director of the Highlands Environmental Research Institute, will discuss the hydrologic systems of the Highlands in order to give a broader context for Orange County officials and citizens. The ways in which forests, soils and land use practices affect water quality and quantity will be outlined and specific measurements for maintaining clean drinking water will be detailed. Shook will also present current work by Highlands Coalition, which currently focuses on educating the public in order to create support for clean water policies throughout the four-state Highlands Region.

    If you go
    The “Water Flowing By” workshop will be held Sept. 17 beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Sterling Forest Visitor’s Center at 116 Old Forge Road in Tuxedo.
    The cost for $40 a person ($30 for OCMPF members), which includes breakfast and lunch.
    The workshop will be worth two credits of continuing education for planning and zoning board members.
    Call 615-3853 or e-mail to alanigan@orangecountygov.com for more information.