Lewis Creek Association (LCA) has been working with many partners over the last two years to launch and grow the “Ahead of the Storm” (AOTS) program. AOTS promotes an all-in approach that shows communities how to improve the way stormwater is managed in order to slow the rate of water pollution while preparing for extreme weather events and pollution impacts due to climate change. Our target audience is property owners of Lake Champlain Valley glacial-lacustrine soil acreage, the most prone to sediment movement and phosphorus loading into Lake Champlain. To date, fifteen municipal, educational, and private properties have been selected to be AOTS sites for showcasing more optimal conservation practices in a variety of landscape settings. These sites are in various stages of planning and implementation. In creating the AOTS program, LCA aims to step up education and action for residents of the middle Lake Champlain area, including LaPlatte River, McCabe’s Brook, Lewis Creek, Thorp, Kimball and Holmes Brook watersheds.
To this end, LCA received grant funding from the Lake Champlain Basin Program to update the AOTS demonstration site materials (which were technical 10-page documents available on our website) to more lay-person-friendly two-page versions. These versions can be used by property owners, schools, and organizations, to learn more about water quality issues in the Lake Champlain Valley, and about how to affect change on a property and/or sub-shed/catchment level. In addition to the summaries, we created two self-guided tours of AOTS demonstration sites, that include a variety of types of sites and stages of planning and implementation.
Lewis Creek Association is excited to announce that these self-guided tours (one in Charlotte, and one in Hinesburg) are now publicly available through the LCA website, as well as in local libraries (Charlotte Library and Carpenter-Carse Library). You can check out the laminated versions at the libraries to take with you on your tour. In addition, new AOTS site summaries (for all the AOTS sites, not just those on the self-guided tours) are also available on our website. Finally, we have developed a survey to track effectiveness and attitude change resulting from this program. If you are interested in checking out our self-guided tours, please head to our website (www.lewiscreek.org/ahead-of-the-storm) and take the survey before taking the tour, then take the survey again after the tour, so that we can track how well this program is working.
Lewis Creek Association is thrilled to be able to continue its work reaching out to the local community to help students and community members understand water quality issues, and how to ameliorate them to keep our waterways healthy and cleaner. We hope you will give our tour a try and check out the updated materials on our website!