Dogwood Park Wetland Education Project
The Dogwood Park Wetland Education Project combined the efforts of the town's Storm Water Quality Program and the Park Department in creating a dual-purpose wetland at the northwest corner of Dogwood Park. The wetland provides a storm water quality improvement feature and signs installed at the perimeter of the wetland provide an interpretive-based environmental education.
A grant in the amount of $4,200 was awarded by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Lake Michigan Coastal Program.
The wetland is primarily designed to improve the quality of storm water runoff from a portion of the newly paved parking area of Dogwood Park's west side by decreasing the speed of the runoff, permitting increased infiltration and groundwater recharge, and providing enhanced pollutant removal from the water.
The original rectangular-shaped grassed basin was redesigned to provide a meandering flow channel and wetland system functions. The basin was planted with a variety of deep-rooted native herbaceous and woody plants most common in wetlands.
The benefits to recreating a more natural wetland ecosystem include an increase in plant, bug, and animal diversity, as well as a more aesthetically pleasing landscape for visitors to enjoy and learn from.
On May 28, 2008, 12 members of Chesterton High School's Environmental Club and 2 interested citizens assisted in the installation of over 1,000 individual plant plugs into the basin.
Trees were installed by Park Department staff to complete the landscaping plan, and two educational signs were installed to finalize the project.
Watersheds & Non-Point Source Education Unit
The Watersheds and Non-Point Source Education Unit (Unit) was a collaborative effort between the Town of Chesterton Storm Water Quality Program and Chesterton Middle School.
The Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Program received a $1,250 grant in 2009 to supplement the Unit from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Lake Michigan Coastal Program. This grant was used to match $1,250 from the Storm Water Utility to purchase water quality testing kits and supplies, and printer ink and paper for the creation and printing of the student’s final project reports, brochures, and other assignments.