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COMMUNITY: Partnering for a bigger impact in education, awareness, action

Interns spend a morning at Cleveland Metroparks Watershed Stewardship Center at West Creek.

The District maintains partnerships with local organizations whose work to enhance quality of life in Northeast Ohio aligns with our own mission to protect water quality. By leveraging our partner resources, we broaden the public’s understanding of, and support for, our work. Here’s a closer look at some of the work we’re doing together.

Cleveland Metroparks

twitter.com/NEORSDbeaches

In 2013, the Sewer District partnered with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and WKYC TV-3 to educate viewers about water quality at area beaches, and swimming safety updates were posted via Twitter. In addition, a new partnership with Cleveland Metroparks that included the District purchasing beach-cleaning machines resulted in better overall quality for Euclid Beach and Edgewater Park.

Also in 2013, the District and Metroparks celebrated the dedication of the Watershed Stewardship Center at West Creek in Parma. The District supported the center with $3 million towards construction and permanent on-site staff. The Center received a 2013 “Award of Excellence” from the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association, and is an opportunity to expand the District’s watershed- and environmental-education efforts.

Sustainable Cleveland

Since 2011, Sustainable Cleveland has focused each year on a key area (such as Energy Efficiency and Renewable Resources) fundamental to a sustainable economy.

Sustainable Cleveland’s focus in 2015 is Clean Water, and the District is serving as a partner in the all-year celebration of our region’s water resources and the work it takes to protect them.

Working with the Cleveland Water Alliance and Cleveland Division of Water, we are heightening the public’s awareness of the gift of clean water. The Sewer District celebrates clean water every year, every day.

Earth Day Coalition

Earth Fest

The District sponsors EarthFest, staffing several exhibits and hands-on demonstrations.

In addition, we participate in Earth Day Coalition’s NatureHood program to restore and improve green space in Cleveland by creating a network of native plant “naturescapes” on vacant and abandoned properties. These efforts are important to demonstrate how stormwater management practices can be incorporated into vacant land reuse.

The District maintains several partnerships with local organizations whose work to enhance quality of life in Northeast Ohio aligns with our own mission to protect water quality. By leveraging our partner resources, we broaden the public’s understanding of, and support for, our work.

Student programs and Cleveland Schools

Cleveland Rowing Foundation

One component of the Sewer District’s Strategic Plan is developing partnerships to attract future talent. Our student programs enhance, subsidize, and facilitate the education of students in Cleveland.

We hope to encourage interest in technical disciplines and career possibilities at the Sewer District, and we consider our involvement to be an investment in the future prosperity of our region.

The District has maintained collaborative projects with Cleveland area schools, and currently works with the Cleveland Rowing Foundation and Cleveland Leadership schools to educate kids about watersheds by getting them out on the water.

Dominion and the Sewer District serve as lead sponsors of the ACE Mentor Program of Cleveland, introducing Collinwood High School students to concepts in architecture, construction, and engineering.

In addition, the District offers work opportunities for students in St. Martin de Porres High School’s Corporate Work Study Program and Trinity High School’s Pre-Professional Internship Program.

Student Technical Enrichment Program (STEP)

Initiated in 1994 by MWH Global (Formerly Montgomery Watson Harza), the Student Technical Enrichment Program (STEP) is designed to pique student interest in career fields involving mathematics, science, engineering, and other technical fields.

Through Saturday tours to different sites, the students are able to see how various jobs use these backgrounds as a foundation to complete a job function within their community. Tour sites include NASA and the District’s wastewater treatment plants, with curriculum tailored to each site visit.

Drink Local. Drink Tap.

Local non-profit Drink Local. Drink Tap. addresses water issues through education and outreach events. The District collaborates on annual World Water Day events in Cleveland, drawing attention to the value of water in daily life.

Story by Michael Uva and Yolanda Kelly

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