New Detroit Initiative --> Rain Gardens to the Rescue

posted Apr 13, 2015, 8:36 AM by Sierra Club Great Lakes Program   [ updated May 13, 2015, 12:19 PM ]

Sewage and urban runoff are polluting Detroit’s rivers. Help prevent this pollution by putting Rain Gardens to the Rescue! The Rain Gardens to the Rescue program is a series of workshops designed to teach you about rain gardens, so that you can plant your very own garden and educate your neighbors and family to do the same. Space is limited. Residents and institutions (i.e. libraries, activity centers, places of faith) are encouraged to participate. Complete the application below to apply for the program. NOTE: Applications are due by Friday, May 22.

Rain gardens:

  • protect our properties from flooding

  • beautify our yards and neighborhoods

  • provide habitat for birds, butterflies, and many other beneficial creatures

  • improve quality of life

  • increase the amount of water infiltrated into the ground, which helps recharge our local aquifer

This program is organized by Sierra Club, Friends of the Rouge, and Keep Growing Detroit with support from the Erb Family Foundation.

Rain Barrels on the Riverfront

posted Apr 1, 2015, 8:28 PM by Sierra Club Great Lakes Program

Celebrate the 45th Anniversary of Earth Day in Detroit

posted Apr 1, 2015, 8:27 PM by Sierra Club Great Lakes Program

SAVE THE DATE: Celebrate the 45th anniversary of Earth Day in Detroit with Sierra Club, Keep Growing Detroit, Friends of the Rouge, and Wayne County Community College District. RSVPs encouraged. Call (313) 965-0055 or go to this link.

We’re the ones we’ve been waiting for! Celebrate the 45th anniversary of Earth Day by connecting with your neighbors, organizations, & public officials in a thoughtful dialogue about transforming our city into a community that benefits us all. This is an evening for us to slow down, examine ourselves and city processes, & find resources for our neighborhoods to grow in a healthy way.

Spread the word - share the Facebook event page.

Join Sierra Club for a Bike Tour of Detroit's Green Solutions!

posted Apr 1, 2015, 8:08 PM by Sierra Club Great Lakes Program

Forum: Race, Class, Culture, & Diversity in Environmental Organizations

posted Mar 16, 2015, 5:13 PM by Sierra Club Great Lakes Program   [ updated Apr 2, 2015, 12:48 PM ]

Organic Wine Tasting Fundraiser - Monday, October 27

posted Sep 30, 2014, 3:04 PM by Sierra Club Great Lakes Program   [ updated Sep 30, 2014, 3:04 PM ]

Enjoy a fun evening tasting Michigan organic wines paired with Italian delectables and viewing the Art4Detroit exhibition at the Swords into Plowshares Gallery and Peace Center on Monday, October 27. Donations from the event will support Sierra Club's Great Lakes program, which is celebrating its 30th year in protecting an international treasure!

Space is limited so reserve your spot here, ($30 suggested donation per person)

In Detroit, Sierra Club works to protect our community from flooding and climate change while also helping to protect, restore, and preserve the water resources of the Great Lakes. We advocate for the widespread use ofgreen infrastructure solutions, which helps prevent rain water from going down the storm drain. A few examples include rain barrels, rain gardens, trees, and green vegetative roofs. Sierra Club's team of volunteers encourages the use of green infrastructure solutions at the individual, neighborhood, and city levels to prevent sewage and polluted runoff from harming the Rouge and Detroit Rivers and Lake Erie. During the wine tasting, you will learn more about these efforts and have a chance to bid on some silent auction items, including a rain barrel.

If you cannot make this event, we will certainly miss you but please do not let that stop you from making a donation to this great cause.

Schedule for the Evening of Monday, October 27:

6:30 to 7pm Registration (suggested donation of $30 per person)

7pm Welcome and explanation of tasting and silent auction (includes a rain barrel)

7:10pm Let the tasting of Michigan organic wines paired with Italian delectables begin! (Wines include: Gewurztraminer, Pinot Nois, Pinot Gris, and Ciderye)

8:30pm Silent Auction ends

Green Your Neighborhood Forum - October 15, 2014

posted Sep 29, 2014, 10:22 AM by Sierra Club Great Lakes Program

Community Meeting: Protect Your Community & Rivers from Pollution!

posted Jan 30, 2013, 12:23 PM by Sierra Club Great Lakes Program   [ updated Jan 30, 2013, 12:26 PM ]

If you're on Facebook, RSVP here.  Find pdfs of the Permit Notice, Fact Sheet, and Draft Permit below.

New Water Agenda Aims to Improve & Protect the Detroit River

posted Jul 31, 2012, 5:21 AM by Sierra Club Great Lakes Program

The Detroit Water Agenda 2012 is the result of a community-driven process to create sustainable development policies to improve and protect the quality of the Rouge and Detroit Rivers and Lake Erie.  That process was spearheaded by the Water Sub-committee of the Detroit City Council Green Task Force, which is chaired by Councilmember Kenneth V. Cockrel Jr. and composed of residents, businesses, environmental non-profits, and other community organizations.  A copy of the document can be found below.

Rate Payers Want Incentives for Green Efforts in Detroit

posted Jul 25, 2012, 2:30 PM by Sierra Club Great Lakes Program   [ updated Jul 25, 2012, 3:07 PM ]

Residents Deliver Petition Signatures to DWSD Board of Water Commissioners to Create Incentive Program for Rain Gardens, Green Roofs, Permeable Pavement & Rain Barrels


At today's Detroit Water & Sewerage Department's (DWSD) Board of Water Commissioners meeting, Sierra Club presented 1,000 petition signatures from residents in the city that encourage the department to create a rewards program that offers incentives or credits to residents and businesses that use green water infrastructure techniques to capture stormwater.  Green water infrastructure refers to any technique that allows rainwater to be absorbed into the ground rather than being directed by roofs or pavement into the city’s sewer system.  Examples include planting rain gardens, installing green roofs, using permeable pavement, and much more.

“Unfortunately, it only takes an inch of rainfall to overwhelm Detroit’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, resulting in combined sewage overflows into the Rouge and Detroit Rivers, which then pollutes one of our Great Lakes, Lake Erie,” commented Melissa Damaschke, who is a Community Organizer for Sierra Club’s Great Lakes Program.  “Individuals and businesses know they can protect the quality of Detroit’s rivers by making an investment to plant rain gardens or install green roofs.  However, water rates have more than doubled in the past ten years and assistance is needed.  Residents and businesses want monetary incentives for their efforts similar to credit and incentive programs that exist in Ann Arbor, Chicago, Minneapolis, and other communities across the Great Lakes region.”

A short list of credit and incentive programs can be found in the document below.

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