Time draining for nominees to La Crosse group for water-saving projects

Water Project Jpeg
First Congregational Church in La Crosse turned a troublesome eyesore that often damaged the property into a pleasant sight that saves water and costs. (First Congregational Church photos)

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — The deadline is approaching for nominations for the 2020 Soak It Up! Project Award, which recognizes water-saving landscaping efforts.
The La Crosse Urban Stormwater Group acknowledges that local governments are taking big steps to reduce runoff pollution but says other local property owners need to help.
For example, First Congregational Church in La Crosse incorporated a practical solution to a property management problem, said congregation member John Storlie.
“During heavy rains, water flowed through door thresholds, seeped into the boiler room and created a pond on the lawn of the building,” he said.
The church, a Soak It Up! Nominee, resolved those problems with a retention pond and stone-lined runoff path that also created a better place for people.
“This is one of the sustainability efforts our building and grounds crew is implementing to ‘green’ our environmental footprint, enhance our building’s efficiency and lower our operating costs,” Storlie said.
“We did this because it was the right thing to do,” he said.
Nominees can include any home, small business, nonprofit or other organization.
The group suggests that people consider nominating:
• A neighbor who has reshaped a lawn to keep water off the driveway.
• Someone who has installed a rain barrel to harvest stormwater.
• A friend who has constructed a rain garden to soak up stormwater.
• A nonprofit or any organization that has planted native plants.
• A business that has redesigned a parking area to reduce runoff.

All projects that reduce negative effects of stormwater runoff can be nominated.
Submit nominations by Sept. 22 at lacrosseareawaters.org, a regional water education website that features information on managing runoff and resources for stormwater projects on urban land.
The La Crosse Urban Stormwater Group represents communities in the area’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) area, including the city of La Crosse, city of Onalaska, La Crosse County, town of Campbell, town of Holland, town of Onalaska, town of Shelby, village of Holmen and village of West Salem.