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Environmental Awareness Education Program

Environmental Awareness Education Program

Northville Public Schools (NPS) public education program is designed to promote, publicize, and facilitate education for the purpose of encouraging the public to reduce the discharge of pollutants into the separate stormwater system. “Public” is defined to include all persons who potentially could affect the quality of stormwater discharges, including, but not limited to NPS staff, contractors, visitors and students of NPS, as well as residents, visitors to the area, public employees, businesses, industries, construction contractors and developers.

Although some of the designated tasks outlined in the PEP may not apply specifically to school facilities, NPS is dedicated to work with the individual communities and watershed council to assist in the development of educational materials, and mechanisms to provide these materials throughout the communities in whom we serve.

Northville Public Schools involvement with the Friends of the Rouge and the “Rouge Education Project”

Friends of the Rouge (FOTR) is a local non-profit organization dedicated to promoting restoration and stewardship of the Rouge River through education and citizen involvement. Since 1986, they have been encouraging people to take action and get directly involved in cleaning up and restoring their streams. They are also leading efforts to educate both young people and adults about the causes and effects of river pollution, and promoting understanding of what can be done about it. One of our goals is to help everyone achieve a sense of "ownership" of their streams and the watershed.

Public Involvement Programs administered by the Friend of the Rouge inform and engage local citizens in activities that help to improve the health of the Rouge River and its watershed. The programs are designed to build community awareness through educational workshops and volunteer activities, to train citizens to become river monitors through volunteer monitoring programs, and, ultimately, to inspire people to become lifelong stewards of the Rouge River. These programs include the Frog & Toad Survey, Bug Hunts, Riparian Corridor Management Projects and Rouge Rescue.

The Rouge Education Project (REP) is a multidisciplinary, school-based initiative to raise young people's awareness of pollution in the Rouge River and encourage them to take action to restore and protect the river. The project’s focus is the study of the Rouge River—its history, current issues, how to monitor its health, how to restore it, and how to become its steward. As a water quality monitoring and watershed education project, the REP engages students’ interest, concern and commitment through real-world education. The project also builds school-community-university partnerships through corporate sponsors, corporate volunteers, and university students who assist teachers participating in the REP. The project is coordinated by Friends of the Rouge.

NPS has been actively involved with the Friends of the Rouge and the Rouge Education Project for over 15 years. NPS science teachers and staff have embedded the Rouge Education Project in high school science curriculum and supports training and resource development as part of its watershed education and awareness efforts.

At the high school level, all the science departments have participated over the years in Friends of the Rouge watershed activities as well through the Rouge Education Project and other various activities in Biology, Environmental Science, or Geophysical Science courses. The Rouge Education Project not only tests rivers to determine the water's health, but also prescribes "treatment" or courses of action. Students, teachers and citizens team up to develop plans to improve the quality of the river. This component provides another opportunity for experience beyond the typical classroom setting.

Plan to Evaluate Public Education Program

The Public Education Plan will be evaluated based on progress made towards meeting the objectives described above. NPS will record and track participation in each educational and training program. NPS is considering development of an initial survey to be provided to students, staff, faculty, and volunteers to determine initial watershed awareness levels. This survey would be repeated in subsequent years to track changes in awareness and adjust the PEP based on the information collected. Additionally, NPS will continue tracking the participation of our community’s schools, community groups, and individuals in existing Rouge Educational programs to evaluate the impact of these programs.