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Students to get environmental lesson at pilot wetland sign unveiling ceremony



When: The unveiling ceremony is Tuesday, Aug. 30, 10:30 a.m.

Where: The Chalk Creek constructed wetland was built on the creek’s east fork, downhill from Rainbow Ridge Park (Rainbow Ridge Drive off Mae Anne), just south of Simons Drive.

What: The city of Reno will unveil two interpretative signs, one at the site of a sulfate-reducing wetland in Northwest Reno. The Northwest Neighborhood Advisory Board provided a $5,000 community pride grant to help design and build the sign.

Public Works staff secured a grant from the Truckee River Fund to build a pilot wetland in Chalk Creek to reduce pollution in the creek. The wetland was designed and built by JBR Environmental with monitoring provided by a graduate student of Civil Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. The sulfate-reducing wetland, completed in June 2010, was designed to remove some of the sulfates that flow down Chalk Creek and into the Truckee River. The local geology is high in salts, and soils transport fertilizers very well; then the irrigation water carries them into Chalk Creek. This project was intended to provide pollution reduction to the Truckee River and is being monitored for effectiveness.

Who: Students, including members of the Sarah Winnemucca Elementary School “Green Team,” will be walking to the unveiling ceremony from the neighborhood school. Public Works Director John Flansberg will be dedicating the signs in thanks to the community for providing funds for this pilot-scale project. City Hydrologist Lynell Garfield-Qualls will give the students a lesson on how the wetland project works to lower the sulfate and other pollution in the water.

Why: The City of Reno Public Works Department is active in monitoring the effects of storm water pollution to the streams and Truckee River. As part of the Truckee Meadows Watershed Committee, the City has tested this cost effective measure for improving water quality in tributaries draining to the Truckee River.

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