The City of Greenwood, IN

Welcome to the website for the City of Greenwood!

September 20, 2017

Greenwood opens Nature Center built to educate students, community on importance of water quality

GREENWOOD, Ind. – The City of Greenwood officially opened its new Stormwater Testing Lab & Nature Center today, inviting elected officials, city employees and members of the public to view and celebrate the Nature Center’s many indoor and outdoor features.

Located just south of Children’s Garden Park at E. Main St. and S. Washington St., the Stormwater Testing Lab & Nature Center will offer educational programming for both students and members of the community, all at no cost to attendees.

The goal is to provide information and first-hand experience with factors impacting local water quality, including the importance of native plants, invasive plant species in Indiana and why it is critical to keep local creeks, streams and lakes clean.

Greenwood Mayor Mark W. Myers says the city wanted a hands-on experience for students and citizens, something impactful to support traditional classroom learning.

“Students will be in the creek with instructors, pulling water quality samples, catching insects and learning about the importance of trees and plant life along the banks,” said Myers. “It’s an experience they won’t forget, but they’ll also have the why behind it.”

Myers says the city will begin outreach to teachers and other organizations serving youth in the area, offering visits free of charge.

“Environmental stewardship must be taught at an early age,” said Myers. “These are the future caretakers of this planet, and it is essential we give them the information and tools to assume that responsibility. We also know the limitations of teacher budgets, so we made it free.”

Stormwater Superintendent Chris Jones says one of his goals will be communicating how large trees and native vegetation, when properly maintained, provide necessary maintenance to nearby creeks, rivers and streams.

“Too often we see the complete removal of vegetation surrounding repaired creeks and streams,” said Jones. “We want to show people that installing engineered systems isn’t necessary when existing large trees and native vegetation can do the work.”

Jones says the outdoor components of the Nature Center were funded through a $5,000 grant from PIG Difference, a national organization that funds habitat restoration projects. For interior refurbishment and retrofitting, Stormwater department employees did the work, much of it on their own personal time.

“Our team is very passionate about the work we do,” said Jones. “This facility allows us to better educate the community on steps they can take to improve Greenwood’s water quality. We’re providing hands-on experience in a natural setting, and we believe that citizens, and especially students, will respond positively.”