Landscaping for Stormwater Runoff: A Grand Rapids Case Study

Jan 30 2019 - 9:00am

Plaster Creek has been designated the most (worst) polluted stream in the west side of the state. The EPA estimates that 50-70% of surface water pollution is carried by storm water runoff and includes lawn/fertilizer nutrients. Dr. Warners and Carrie Rivette take a specific look at Plaster Creek to demonstrate how landscapers can design both commercial and residential spaces to minimize these detrimental effects.

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Calvin College

Dr. Dave Warners works in the areas of Restoration Ecology, Plant Systematics and Evolution, Sustainability Studies and Faith-based Creation Care. His current research focusses on how to engage the local community to work together to restore health and beauty to the Plaster Creek Watershed. This work involves propagating native plants from local genotypes for use in habitat re-creations, as well as ongoing research on stream microbes, macroinvertebrates, flow dynamics, and overall water quality. He has also done work in prairie, forest, and wetland restorations.  

Dr. Warners has served as an environmental consultant on Environmental Impact Statements, and has performed many botanical inventories for local townships, state parks and other organizations. He has helped many local schools, churches, and parks establish native wildflower gardens and led plant rescue efforts to preserve native species from areas that are planned for development. In addition, he has worked as a botanist for the Ann Arbor Parks department, served on the Board of the Land Conservancy of West Michigan, on the Academic Advisory Board for Au Sable Institute, and consulted the Nature Conservancy.

City of Grand Rapids

Carrie Rivette is the Wastewater/Stormwater Maintenance Superintendent at the City of Grand Rapids. She holds a bachelors degree in Environmental Engineering from Michigan Tech.