Session 1 - Introduction to the WSA and an Overview of Watershed Issues from a National to Local Scale
September 19 (MONDAY) - 6-9pm
Description: The course will be summarized, including the Capstone project and other requirements. Stewards will be introduced to the staff and start to get to know each other. Stewards will hear an overview of watershed issues, the cause and effects of urban stormwater issues, and the regulatory requirements helping push the solutions. This will include an overview of important national legislation such as the Clean Water Act, as well as local regulations.
Objectives: Stewards will learn the extent of stormwater problems in our region, learn what practices led to the problems, discover solutions through case studies, and the required reporting of precise mitigation. Stewards will be introduced to the technical basics of stormwater management.
Session 2 - Introduction to Soils and Native Plants (morning) and Stormwater Tour: An Overview of Problems and Solutions and Lessons Learned (afternoon)
September 24 (SATURDAY) - 9am-4pm (with break for lunch)
Description: In the morning, stewards will learn about soil types and how the soil can affect the choice of projects and design. Then they will learn about native plants, including what it means to be native, why native plants are used, and why non-native plants, particularly invasive plant species may pose problems. Stewards will learn how to conduct a soil percolation test and will do some field identification of native plants during the afternoon stormwater tour.
After a lunch break, the stewards will tour several sites that demonstrate solutions for stormwater problems. Among the sites to be visited, stewards will see a green roof, rain garden, permeable pavers, creek daylighting and more. Stewards will hear from homeowners, city officials, and designers of the solutions.
Objective: Stewards will be exposed to actual stormwater problems and solutions from Session 1. Stewards will learn about soils and native plants and threats from non-native invasive plants.
Session 3 - Pollution Sources and Solutions: Trash, Pet Waste, Pesticides and Fertilizers
October 3 (MONDAY) - 6-9pm
Description: Stewards will learn about point and non-point source pollution that is carried by stormwater. The concept of total maximum daily loads (TMDL's) will also be discussed as well as how levels are set for particular watersheds. Three particular pollution sources - trash, pet waste, and pesticides and fertilizers will be discussed as well as solutions such as Integrated Pest Management.
Objective: Stewards will learn more about pollution sources and pollution source reduction from large scale to small-scale solutions.
Session 4 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Practicum
October 17 (MONDAY) - 6-9pm
Description: There will be an overview of GIS - what it is, how it works, and why it is helpful. Then the stewards will break into groups by jurisdiction to learn about GIS issues pertinent to their jurisdiction. The stewards will use GIS to calculate impervious surface and stormwater runoff for a site under supervision of an instructor.
Objective: Stewards will be introduced to GIS availability per jurisdiction and apply their understanding in beginning level class activities.
Session 5 - Improving Stormwater Infiltration: Rain Gardens and Conservation Landscaping
October 20 (THURSDAY) - 6-9pm
Description: Stewards will learn about two different approaches to handling polluted runoff- conservation landscaping and rain gardens. They will learn how to decide if a rain garden is the appropriate solution for a particular location; its risks and benefits; the basics of design, installation, and maintenance; and potential problems. Then they will learn about conservation landscaping and how to put it into practice. In trying to decide on the appropriate technique, stewards will learn about requirements such as Miss Utility and other appraisals of site needs.
Objective: Stewards will learn more about improving stormwater infiltration as a way to mitigate runoff using landscape/infrastructure techniques of rain gardens and conservation landscaping.
Session 6 - Perspectives and Practice on Neighborhood Site Assessments
October 21 (FRIDAY) - 9am-4pm (with break for lunch)
Description: In the morning, stewards will hear two perspectives on conducting neighborhood assessments. In the afternoon, students will break into smaller groups and go out into neighborhoods to practice using site assessment tools.
Objective: To gain familiarity with general techniques for assessing a site for stormwater management with attention to the tools, calculations, and data collection needed. Stewards will learn the basic tools needed to conduct a neighborhood assessment and think thru and articulate a proposed stormwater mitigation scheme.
Session 7 - Putting It All into Practice: Class Project Site Assessment and Planning Part 1
October 22 (SATURDAY) - 9am-1pm
Description: Stewards will break into small groups and conduct walk-throughs of pre-chosen site that are being considered for a class project. Percolation (perc) tests will be conducted at each site and calculations made of stormwater runoff to that site. Each group will pick a site that they think is best for a doable stormwater solution. For their chosen site, they will identify problems and produce concept level solutions. Each group will share their results with the whole class and listen to feedback. The class will decide as a whole which site to focus on for the group project.
Objective: Stewards will begin to integrate all the knowledge taught thus far to plan a class project including assessing soil, calculating stormwater run-off, using GIS to understand topography, site design, and plant selection.
Session 8 - Watershed Group Project Experiences & Exploring Capstone Projects
November 7 (MONDAY) - 6-9pm
Description: Stewards will hear presentations of WSA steward's projects - both successes and problems that emerged. If time permits, there will also be presentations from various watershed groups like AWS, FOSC and FORCE on their experiences with conducting local restorative and other watershed projects.
After the presentations, stewards will break into Capstone Project Groups and begin discussing possible project ideas. It is anticipated that stewards will come to class with at least one possible idea.
Objectives: Stewards will be exposed to various difficulties that may emerge in trying to develop a small-scale stormwater management project.
Session 9 - Water Words: Practicing How to talk about Watershed Issues and Solutions Practicum
November 14 (MONDAY) - 6-9pm
Description: One of the goals of the WSA is to give stewards the tools they will need to capably and confidently conduct community outreach, including giving presentations to a variety of local organizations. Students will be asked to give a short presentation (5 minutes) about watershed topics. Students will then receive feedback from classmates and staff about the presentation.
Objective: Stewards will get to practice giving talks about watershed issues.
WINTER BREAK - Snuggle up by the fire and BE THINKING ABOUT THE CLASS PROJECT AND YOUR CAPSTONE PROJECT!!!
Session 10 - Permitting Your Project and Planning Class Project Part 2
January 23, 2012 (MONDAY) - 6-9pm
Description: Stewards will meet by jurisdiction and hear about permitting requirements specific to each jurisdiction. Stewards will learn what types of projects need permits, how to best interact with the their local jurisdiction, and who to contact when issues arise.
The second half of the class will be devoted to small group discussions of class project proposals. There is an expectation that students will have either individually or collectively thought or sketched out more solid details of this project during the winter break. Students will be asked to each design an individual plan as a way for them to practice the skills learned such as soil calculation, water run-off calculations, and plant selection. Staff will be available to assist.
Objective: Stewards will develop an understanding of the permitting regulations in their geographic jurisdiction for various stormwater solutions. Students will practice creating a design for the class project.
Session 11 - Funding Your Project and Community Engagement and Empowerment
February 6, 2012 (MONDAY) - 6-9pm
Description: This session will review various funding sources and what each source might fund. Stewards will learn about jurisdictional differences such as with Rainscapes and the DDOE grants.
In the second half of the class, stewards will hear from several speakers about the methods they have used to engage and empower their communities. Then there will be an opportunity for Q & A.
Objective: Stewards will discover possibilities and limits of funding for various stormwater mitigation projects based on their geographic jurisdiction. Stewards will discuss, differentiate and develop various strategies to engage and empower community members to be a force to be called upon for action.
Session 12 - Final Discussion of Class Project
February 27, 2012 (MONDAY) - 6-9pm
Description: The entire session will be devoted to student presentations of their individual project proposals. In an informal process, students will decide on which proposals they think best fit the site in terms of stormwater solutions by "voting" on individual proposals. Based on this feedback and staff input, a final plan for the class project will be determined.
Objective: Students will be exposed to a variety of design proposals and learn decision-making process for deciding on individual elements of a project.
Session 13 - Capstone Project Proposals
March 5, 2012 (MONDAY) - 6-9pm
Description: In groups, stewards will describe their Capstone Projects to the class including proposed leadership efforts and strategies for building knowledge, understanding and community partnerships. Stewards will collect feedback from peers on their project proposals.
Objective: To gain feedback on project proposals from peers and to ensure that the groups plan their project in advance using the resources of the WSA.
Session 14 - Class Restoration Project
April 14, 2012 (SATURDAY) - 9am-2pm (snacks and lunch provided) - PLEASE ALSO HOLD RAIN DATE April 21 (SATURDAY)
Description: Stewards will implement the class project from plans produced earlier.
Objective: Under the direct leadership of WSA staff, stewards will implement a stormwater management project at a location they have chosen in order to integrate what they have learned throughout the course into a field project.
Session 15 - Capstone Project Showcase
Description: (About 6-8 Months Later - October-November 2012) Stewards will showcase their completed projects to the entire group using a presentation format of their choosing.
Objective: This last session will showcase the success of the student capstone projects and provide feedback on the entire project.