Education / Outreach

Table of Contents

Public Education Survey
Homeowner’s Handbook
Urban Tree Canopy Assessment
Clarity Documentary
Storm Drain Stenciling
Enviroscapes
Children’s Books
Into the Watershed DVD

Public Education Survey

The Frost Center for Social Science Research at Hope College completed a phone survey of watershed residents during the summer of 2014. The purpose of the survey was to gauge the level of knowledge and public opinion about water quality and related issues in the Macatawa Watershed. This is the fifth time that the Frost Center has completed such a survey for the MACC since 2000. A summary of the 2014 results can be viewed below. Report appendices and previous survey results will be provided upon request.

2014 Public Education Survey

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Homeowner’s Handbook

The Homeowner’s Handbook: A Guide to Water Quality Protection or Homeowner’s Associations and Households was updated in 2014. You can download a copy below or contact our office to receive a printed copy. The handbook includes the following guides:

Guide No. 1: Protecting Water Quality
Guide No. 2: Catch Basin Care
Guide No. 3: Maintaining Septic Systems
Guide No. 4: Car Care
Guide No. 5: Stormwater Basin Maintenance
Guide No. 6: Controlling Garden Pests
Guide No. 7: Landscaping Near the Water’s Edge
Guide No. 8: Rethinking Yard Care
Guide No. 9: Reducing Household Waste – NEW
Guide No. 10: Recycling – NEW
Guide No. 11: Household Hazardous Waste – NEW
Guide No. 12: Disposal of Prescription Drugs and Personal Care Products – NEW

Homeowner’s Handbook

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2013 Urban Tree Canopy Assessment Results

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The MACC worked with the GVSU Annis Water Resource Institute in 2013 to conduct an urban tree canopy assessment. The urban tree canopy provide many valuable functions including stormwater management, air quality protection, cooling effects, and wildlife habitat. This work was paid for by a grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Fact sheets for the City of Holland and City of Zeeland are provided below. Full reports with series of maps for each community will be provided upon request.

City of Holland UTC Fact Sheet
City of Zeeland UTC Fact Sheet

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Clarity Documentary

Clarity is a professionally developed PBS documentary about the Macatawa Watershed. The film is about 50 minutes. Here is a 2-minute preview:

Clarity: Restoring the Macatawa Watershed from Phillip Palacios on Vimeo.

Full Length Documentary

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Storm Drain Stenciling

edu-2Storm drains provide entry into the storm sewer system that carries water from rainfall and snowmelt directly from your neighborhood to our local rivers, lakes, streams, and wetlands. This water becomes polluted when it picks up things like grass clippings, leaves, pesticides, motor oil, trash, and pet waste and carries them into storm drains. Stormwater is NOT treated by wastewater treatment facilities and is a direct route for pollution to enter Lake Macatawa! The MACC provides community volunteers with supplies needed to paint stenciled messages near the storm drains in your neighborhood. This serves as a reminder to you and your neighbors to keep pollutants off the streets, driveways and sidewalks and out of storm drains. Contact our office to borrow a stenciling kit.

Stenciling instructions

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Enviroscapes

enviroscapes table

With support from the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area, the Macatawa Watershed Project owns four Enviroscape tabletop units that can be used to educate students on watershed and nonpoint pollution issues in the Macatawa Watershed. The four Enviroscape units include: Wetlands, Landfill, Coastal, and Hazardous Waste.

The Enviroscapes are available for use in a classroom or with a community group. Contact our office to borrow an Enviroscape or schedule a presentation. For more detailed information on the Enviroscape units, visit www.enviroscapes.com.

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Children’s Books

Three books by local authors and a local illustrator were created to teach the basic concepts of water quality management. The books are intended for fourth grade and support the state curriculum to teach about the path that rainwater follows. Contact our office to request copies of the books.

The Lake I Didn’t Remember

book image "the lake i didn't remember"By Sara DenHerder, Illustrated by Betsy Buurma Morton

When Craig and Olivia found that that they could no longer swim or fish in their favorite lake, they went on a mission to discover who was responsible for the problem. In the process, they learned about watersheds, phosphorus, sediment and erosion, and learned that we all play a role in maintaining water quality.

A Day at the Farm

By Sara Stevens, Illustrated by Betsy Buurma Morton"a day at the farm" book cover

Craig and Olivia learn how farmers make a difference in protecting water quality by using filter strips at the edges of fields to control erosion and help keep sediment and fertilizers out of watersheds. A teacher’s guide has been developed for this book, to download a copy of the lesson plans click here.

Springwater Rain

By Karen Hooker, Illustrated by Betsy Buurma Morton"Spring water" book cover

Jason and Stephanie learn what stormwater runoff is, where all that water goes and how a wetland can filter out undesirable sediment and pollutants from the water.

For more information on educational activities in support of the Macatawa Watershed Project, please contact us.

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Into the Watershed DVD

edu-into-watershedIn 2007, the MACC produced an educational DVD titled Into the Watershed that provides an effective look at the watershed and water quality issues. The 3D animation DVD featuring several Holland High School students and local watershed experts provides educational information about wetlands, stormwater, agriculture, and land use influences on water quality in the Macatawa Watershed. The target audience for this video is 5th to 8th grades, although it can be used for any age group. Local involvement was a key to the success of this production. The producer is Pam Landes of Think Again, also a local watershed resident. The production of this DVD was made possible in part by funding support from the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area and the Office of Michigan Attorney General.

In June 2007, Into the Watershed was awarded the highest honors by the 28th Annual Telly Awards as well as the 13th Annual Communicator Award of Distinction, both international competitions.

Into the Watershed

Lesson Plans

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