Westlake Rain & Garden Show will explore ways to protect watershed

"Protecting Our Future" is this year’s theme for the City of Westlake’s Rain and Garden Show, which will be held at Crocker Park’s Market Square on Saturday, March 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

“The use of sustainable practices and conservation throughout our watershed helps protect our future,” said Robert Kelly, director of the Westlake Engineering Department. “We bring local vendors and organizations together at this family-friendly event, appealing to both adults and children to make it easier to learn how to help keep our local waterways clean and sustainable.”

The city of Westlake’s storm drainage watershed consists of seven major streams and creeks that eventually discharge to Lake Erie: Cahoon, Porter, Schwartz, Sperry, Wilhelmy, Wischmeyer and Wolf. These creeks have about 150 miles of storm sewers that collect rain from developed areas like parking lots, roadways and buildings.

“Lake Erie is our sole source of drinking water and a vital recreational and economic resource for the region,” said Wesley Davis, civil engineer for the city's Engineering Department. “People can take simple steps to help minimize debris, fertilizers, chemicals and other contaminants from entering the watershed.”

He gave the examples of not littering when walking, riding or driving; cleaning up after pets; recycling and repurposing items; utilizing native plants and organic products in landscaping, and biodegradable or non-toxic products in the home.

“These may seem insignificant but if done consistently, they can have a major impact,” said Davis.

The Westlake Rain and Garden Show is presented by the Westlake Engineering Department and the Westlake Watershed Group, a volunteer citizens' committee that includes Westlake residents, members of local businesses and city employees. The Westlake Watershed Group’s next meeting, also free and open to the public, is Friday, April 13, at 7:30 a.m. at Westlake City Hall.

For those who are interested in best practices for sustainability and conservation, Davis recommended visiting the Cleveland Metroparks’ Watershed Stewardship Center in West Creek Reservation in Parma to view their exhibits and take part in programs. Learn more at clevelandmetroparks.com.

More information about the Rain and Garden Show can be found at www.cityofwestlake.org/Go-Green.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 10:11 AM, 03.20.2018