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Healthy Waters Initative

Whether it is from the local creek, a faucet, or flowing down the Hudson River, all water is affected by what we do on the land. The Environmental Cooperative is working to connect people to the water around them. Bringing people to our local creeks, letting them get their feet wet, and showing them what lies below the water’s surface helps them understand how we can affect our environment. We support local community groups and regional organizations that work to protect our waterways and educate young and old about the importance of clean water. Events include creek cleanups, Trees for Tribs plantings, workshops, and educational talks and tours.

Beaver-flooded forest on the Vassar Ecological Preserve - Photo: Ellie Opdahl

Tree Planting along the Casperkill with Trees for Tribs 2019
Green Stormwater Infrastructure

Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) mimics natural processes to reduce runoff from impervious surfaces that don’t absorb water, such as parking lots and roads. Examples of GSI include rain gardens, bioswales, porous pavement, riparian buffers, and tree canopies. Since 2016, the Environmental Cooperative has been helping Vassar College create ways to better include GSI into Vassar’s renovations and new construction projects. To achieve this we inventoried current stormwater management practices, created a maintenance plan for these practices, and developed a GSI pilot project for the area around the Vassar Barns with the help of OneNature. The Environmental Coop will be hosting community workshops about green infrastructure practices, so stay posted for these opportunities!

Inventory and guidelines for stormwater management at Vassar College can be found here.

GSI pilot project plans for the Vassar Barns can be found here.

This project has been funded in part by a grant from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund through the Hudson River Estuary Program of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Rain Barrel Building Workshop - July 2017 - Photo: Camille Marcotte

The Fall Kill Aquabitz

Fall of 2018 the Environmental Cooperative started the Fall Kill Aquablitz with various local partners. The event encourages urban waterway engagement in local students and community member by exploring what organisms live in the creek. and the habitat of the creek itself. We shared our findings with our educational program with local schools. We continued the event in Fall of 2019 with Scenic Hudson. 

Electrofishing at Malcolm X Park 2018
Education Program at Malcolm X Park 2018
Education

The Cooperative offers educational field trips to the Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve. For more information about these programs, contact Jen Rubbo. For more information about our Exploring Science Program please visit this page.