Alabama Watershed Stewards Spring Happenings

Alabama Watershed Stewards(AWS) is an outreach program at the Auburn University Water Resources Center (AUWRC) intended to bring citizens, agencies, and city governments together in learning about water quality issues and identifying ways to begin addressing them in their areas. AWS provides education about watershed health, watershed management, and provides a platform for regional parties to meet and discuss opportunities for projects and ways forward. 

This spring, Alabama Watershed Stewards has hosted a number of events to promote local stewardship.

Rain Garden Workshop

AWS held its first How to Install Your Own Rain Garden workshop this year in Pike Road, Alabama at the Agricultural Center. A total of twenty-five people registered for the workshop to learn about how to improve the quality of stormwater runoff from their homes by installing a rain garden.

Demonstrating how to do a soil infiltration test

Workshop demonstration of how to take an infiltration test. Photo Credit: Laura Bell

Example of a rain garden installed in front of a storefront

Photo of a rain garden installed in front of a commercial building by the  Mississippi Watershed Management Organization

Rain gardens are shallow, vegetated landscape depressions that slow stormwater runoff for a short time to help capture the pollutants carried in the ‘first flush’ of stormwater. Rain gardens provide stormwater infiltration, native plant habitat, and stormwater treatment for small-scale residential or commercial drainage areas.

Participants were provided with a free handbook from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System on How to Install Your Own Rain Garden, which can be found online for anyone interested in reading more.

Clink the photo to be taken to the How to Install a Rain Garden Manual

Alabama Watershed Stewards Training in Millbrook 

AWS also hosted its first training of the year in Millbrook. Individuals from the community came together to learn about water quality concerns and discuss opportunities for working together to address them. Participants included city officials, soil and water conservation district representatives, consultants, Extension agents, students, teachers, and more. 

Statements outlining concernd and opportunities for the watershed area

Participants listened to a variety of presentations about water quality, watershed management and classification, and then discussed ongoing projects, barriers, and opportunities in their watershed. If you are interested in learning more about future workshops like this, please sign up for the Alabama Watershed Newsletter .  If you would like to register for future workshops, visit http://aub.ie/alabamawatershed.

Participant exercise in local watershed exploration. Photo Credit: Laura Bell

AWS also hosts specialized educational trainings, technology transfer workshops, and develops educational content. Find more resources the AU Water Center  Resources webpage.