Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District
Basin Program Funds:
Urban runoff contributes to documented water quality and contaminated sediment
problems in northeast Ohio. These impacts are a consequence of individual
actions across the landscape in urban areas. Changes in individual behavior
are needed to resolve these issues.
The purpose of preparing a teacher's guide was to educate teachers so they
can, in turn, educate their students on the effect of urban runoff on water
and soil quality. Eight teacher's guides were developed, each one outlining
a different pathway that can lead to contaminated sediments. Teacher workshops
and in-service training sessions were held to demonstrate how to use the guides.
Cuyahoga County, Ohio has 33 public and two major private school
districts covering over 600 schools ranging from kindergarten through twelfth
grade. Over 17,000 teachers deliver information to students who in turn transfer
that information to their parents. Teachers within the Cuyahoga River and
Rocky River watersheds were targeted, although teachers from other counties
were welcomed to the workshops and training sessions.
A Water Quality Handbook: Teachers Resource for Water Quality Improvements
was designed and printed. The handbook and accompanying video vignettes were
action-oriented and designed to teach about how the quality of water is impacted
by human activities. The handbook covers eight activities that individuals
can do in everyday life, and provides simple actions that can be taken to
improve the quality of water and lives. The eight topic areas are: household
hazardous wastes, lawn care, trash and litter, road salt, composting yard
waste, drain confusion, home combustion engines, and septic systems.
One thousand copies of the water quality handbook were printed
and assembled. Packets of additional reference materials were also prepared
and accompanied the handbook. Four teacher training workshops were held to
distribute the handbooks.
Approval from the Ohio Department of Education was received to give continuing
education unit credits (CEUs) to the teachers who complete the 5-hour workshops,
which took place in the fall of 1995. Funding for these workshops was made
available by Kent State University ($1,500).
Through this project 30 teachers were trained through the 5-hour workshops.
In addition, 1000 copies of the Teacher's Guide were distributed. This has
been incorporated into the education of numerous children. The Teacher's Guide
received the 1996 "Outstanding Public Interest Publication" from
the All-Ohio Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society.
Contact: Jim Storer, (216) 524-6580