PRESS RELEASE - Akron Waterways Renewed

PRESS RELEASE
City of Akron 166 S. High Street Akron, Room 200, Ohio 44308
Phone: (330) 375-2345 Fax: (330) 375-2468
Web: www.akronohio.gov
For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephanie York, Director of Communications
[email protected] or 330-375-2345 (w) / 330-289-1467(c)
ENVIRONMENTAL FESTIVAL WELCOMES FAMILIES TO FREE SCIENCE DAY
OPEN HOUSE CELEBRATES RETURN OF BLUE HERONS
Akron, Ohio (April 22, 2015) - Children with an aptitude for science and an interest in
the environment can quench their thirst for water facts as the City of Akron welcomes families to
a free open house at Akron’s Water Reclamation Facility in the Cuyahoga Valley, Saturday, May
9, from 10:00am to 2:00pm.
Known to most residents as Akron’s sewage treatment plant, residents will get an upclose look at the workings of the place where the City’s sewage is tested, treated and returned
to the Cuyahoga River. It’s also where a flock of blue herons have turned the City property into
a rookery for more than a decade – a breeding place for heron families.
The “Blue Heron Homecoming” is a day-long Environmental Festival featuring more than
two dozen hands-on science demonstrations and activities for children; a trolley tour of the
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Akron Water Reclamation Facility showing all the steps in the process of treating sewage; and a
guided bus tour of the Blue Heron Rookery. Spotting scopes will be set up along Bath Road and
rangers will be on-hand to discuss the Blue Herons.
Visitors will also be able to come nose-to-nose with native animals from the Akron Zoo,
and the Ohio EPA will display live fish representing different levels of pollution tolerance.
The free Open House will be held at 2460 Akron-Peninsula Road, with parking available
in nearby lots. Visitors will be shuttled to and from the plant in buses traveling a continuous loop.
Vehicles may park at any one of the following locations:
Todaro’s Party Center, 1820 Akron Peninsula Rd.
Hampton Hills Metro Park, Akron-Peninsula Road, just north of Bath Road
Botzum Trailhead, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 2928 Riverview Rd
The event recognizes the accomplishments of Akron’s wastewater treatment plant where
over $300 million has been invested to improve the City’s sewer system since 1987.
Along with the environmental exhibits, families can sign-up for a free tree as part of an
Urban Canopy Tree Giveaway. There will also be tree seedlings available for free to take home
and plant. Another giveaway will assist parents who have been using older mercury fever
thermometers, who can exchange them for an environmentally-safe digital thermometer.
Sponsors will offer free refreshments including hot dogs, beverages and snacks between
11am and 1:30 pm. Organizers are trying to make this a “zero-waste” event by using smart
sustainable practices that will be instructional as well as functional. Summit ReWorks, the waste
management agency, is assisting in this effort.
AKRON STUDENTS COMPETE FOR PRIZES IN “WATER IS WORTH IT” CHALLENGE
Students in Akron’s public, private and charter schools have been invited to attend the
festival and share their ideas with the environmental experts.
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The “Water Is Worth It” challenge is a contest for students, grades K-12, as individuals
or as a group project.
Entries may be artwork, coloring book designs, illustrations, games, photos, PDA apps
or science-fair-type exhibits that highlight why clean water is important to the future of the
community.
For more information, contact Traci Buckner, Director, Specialty Programs, NIHF STEM,
330-761-7933, [email protected]
AKRON WATERWAYS RENEWED INITIATIVE
Akron’s current Consent Decree requires a $1.4 billion dollar investment in the City’s
environmental future, the largest single expenditure in its 189 year history, by remediating its
combined sewer overflows. About 20% of Akron’s sewers were designed to carry both storm
water and sanitary wastes in one pipe, and during a rain event, when the storm water
contribution exceeds the capacity of the sewers, sewage overflows to streams or rivers. Akron’s
Long Term Control Plan will improve the system by attempting to achieve zero untreated
overflows in the typical year, improving water quality.
SPONSORS AND PARTNERS MAKE FREE FESTIVAL POSSIBLE
In addition to the City of Akron, other partners providing activities and exhibits for the
festival include:
Akron Public Schools
Akron Zoo
Cuyahoga River Restoration (CRR)
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Friends of the Crooked River
Global Water Alliance
Great Lakes Biomimicry
Hattie’s Garden
Keep Akron Beautiful
Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition
Summit Metro Parks
Summit Soil and Water Conservation District
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Sponsors of the Open House and Blue Heron Homecoming include the CSO Project
Management Team, made up of the principal consultants on the project: MWH Global, Hatch
Mott MacDonald, G. Stephens, Inc. of Akron, and the following companies:
Arcadis
GPD
MS Consultants
HR Gray
Emerald Environmental Services Inc
Burgess & Niple
Black & Veatch
Thomarios
Palmer Engineering
Cosmos Technologies Inc
C & K Industrial Services Inc
CTI Engineers Inc
Cardinal Group
DLZ Ohio
Hasenstab Architects
CT Consultants Inc
Enviro Science Inc
Gannett Fleming Engineers & Architects
Hazen and Sawyer
GBC Design Inc
HzW Environmental Consultants
Environmental Design Group
DL Bennet Company
Partners Environmental Consulting
For more information contact:
Heather Bolestridge
PMT Communications Team Manager
Akron Waterways Renewed!
CitiCenter Building
146 S. High Street, Suite 800
Akron, OH 44308
Office: (330) 375-2949 Ext. 4775
[email protected]
Or visit our website: www.akronwaterwaysrenewed.com
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