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Students work to preserve local waters

Eighth graders paint storm drains to warn the public that anything dumped in a storm drain will eventually flow into waterways. Photo by Andrea Beaudoin (click for larger version)
June 11, 2014 - A group of students from Darlene Roche's 8th grade class at Clarkston Junior High School spent a day in downtown identifying storm drains and painting them with a fish symbol as part of an Academic Service Learning.

The fish symbol came with a message, "No dumping drains to rivers." In addition to Depot Park, the students worked on several storm drains in town on streets like Church, Washington and other streets.

"The class also learned that anything that goes down the storm drain travels to the rivers." said Roche.

Students painted the symbols on the storm drains to remind people not to dump certain materials near the drains because they eventually make their way into waterways.

According to Roche, "Clarkston water that enters the storm drains makes it way into the Clinton River and eventually flows into Lake St. Claire. Water runoff from yards and paved surfaces also flow into the waterways and can sometimes carry dirt, fertilizer, pesticides, oil, animal waste and other types of pollutants.

Roche said the Clarkston DPW was nice enough to provide materials like paint and stencils.

The class shared some tips to help protect waterways, including:

• Avoid using fertilizers and pesticides;

• Clean up pet droppings;

• Keep grass clippings and other yard debris away from storm drains;

• Practice good car care – keep your car tuned and fix leaks properly;

• Carefully store, don't dump, household hazardous waste; and

•Water lawns only when necessary.

Staff writer covering Independence Township and Clarkston area.
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