Program Highlights

 

Program Highlights

Urban Conservation:

  • The District has become a partner with the Bangor Area Storm Water Group (BASWG). BASWG is comprised of the Cities of Bangor, Brewer, and Old Town, and the Towns Hampden, Milford, Orono and Veazie as well as the following nested entities; Bangor International Airport, Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center, Eastern Maine Community College, Maine Air National Guard, the University of Maine, and University College of Bangor. BASWG is a collaborative effort by these entities to comply with stormwater regulations from the US. EPA. The District has partnered with them to assist with education and outreach projects.
  • In June the District, BASWG and the Town of Hampden collaborated to install a demonstration rain garden at the town office. This garden is designed to show Hampden residents how they can install smaller gardens on their properties to help reduce the amount of storm water leaving their properties.
  • The District coordinated storm drain stenciling projects for BASWG In July using volunteers from Upward Bound. We stenciled storm drains in urban areas of Veazie and Milford. The purpose of stenciling the storm drains is to raise awareness that storm water flows from these systems untreated in to the local rivers and streams. Part of the project also includes a door hanger that is provided to each home explaining why we stenciled and how they can reduce their use of lawn chemicals and other storm water issues. Our news release was printed in the Weekly and the Milford Town Manager included the project in her town report that is printed in the Penobscot Times. The Milford town manager is trying to further the outreach and asked us to spray paint the stencil on the town dump trucks.
  • We have been working with BASWG on a research project to determine if the messages they chose for the door hangers that go with the stenciling campaign are effective. We have been working with Nick Stevenson, a Graduate Student from Plymouth State, on a scientific awareness message process. We are currently evaluating our message against a normative message which will be on the door hangers. This message will be “Most of your neighbors don’t use lawn chemicals. The use of use lawn chemicals threatens water quality and the health of your children and pets.” To evaluate this message we will do more storm drain stenciling in the November. There will be three campaigns that we will do; the standard outreach method will be used on Constitution Drive in Hampden and Hillside Blvd in Brewer, the normative message will be used on Frances Drive in Hampden and Judson Heights in Bangor, the control areas will only be stenciled and they will be Rolling Meadow Drive in Bangor and Main Trail in Hampden.

Lakes Projects

The following projects are funded by grants from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection through funds from Section 319 of the Federal Clean Water Act. Grants are awarded to these lakes on a competitive basis.

  • We have partnered with the City of Old Town to upgrade and improve 1 mile of Woodland Avenue on Pushaw Lake. The purpose of this project is to reduce the erosion of from the camp road that is depositing an estimated 2,106.3 tons/year of soil into Pushaw Lake. The challenge the city has had over the years is how to drain the 163 acre watershed which is densely developed. The District engineer has designed a new storm water management system. The stormwater system will be changed from the existing ditch system to a subterranean system designed to force stormwater to infiltrate through filter fabric and crushed stone before entering a perforated pipe system with additional slowing and infiltrating practices throughout the design. The City of Old Town has committed $100,000 to this project and the grant is paying for the engineering of this system. When all is said and done the City plans to spend roughly $1,000,000 over the next ten years to upgrade this road, with design assistance from the District.
  • The Bear/Elk Lane Road Association on Wassookeag Lake in Dexter received assistance from the district to upgrade their roads. Over two years the association installed 2,280 ft of ditching, 5 new culverts, 965 ft of resurfaced road and 580 ft of completely rebuilt road. Because of the size of the project Bear Lane has received significant community interest. Thus, the work done on the entrance to the road and the hill has become a much discussed and often visited attraction. And, as our grant administrator said, “the project is a text book example of what a perfect camp road should be.” Every camp owner who visits the property will be able to learn how to better maintain their own camp roads by example.
  • The District has received funding to compile a Watershed Survey for Cold Stream Pond. The survey will be used to seek more grants funding to address erosion issues that are identified through the survey process. This will be a collaborative effort with the Cold Stream Campowners Association, and Towns of Enfield, Lowell, Lee and Lincoln.

Education and Outreach Projects

  • The Leonard Middle School in Old Town received a grant from Maine DEP to install demonstration rain gardens at Sewal Park. The District provided a classroom presentation on water quality and how rain gardens can be used to help reduce sediment and pollution from reaching lakes and rivers. We also used our connections with local nurseries to help the students get the plants they needed at a reduced rate.
  • We are in the process of partnering with the Girl Scouts of Maine to offer educational programs to the troops. Recently the Girl Scouts added a Water Patch. The District and UMCE will be hosting a Water Patch day in the spring to provide the troops with educational opportunities to help them get their patch. Local troops will also be encouraged to help with the Storm Drain Stenciling projects next summer as well as the BASWG’s Annual Stream Cleanup which is held in May.

Agricultural Conservation

The District through our partnership with the USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service provides conservation cost-share programs for agricultural operations in Penobscot County.

  • Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program we have provided assistance to agricultural operations in Bradford, Charleston, Corinna, Corinth, Dexter, Dixmont, Exeter, Garland, Hampden, Hermon, Kenduskeag, Lee, Levant, Milford Newburgh, and Newport. This year to date we have provided cost-share payments totaling just over $3,000,000 for the installation of conservation practices on agricultural land.
  • Through the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program we have provided assistance to the Town of Veazie and Maine IF&W on lands they manage in Charleston, Drew Plantation, Lee and Winn, to install practices that enhance habitat. To date we have provided over $41,000 for cost-share assistance in this program.  
     
 

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