Friends of Indian Mill Creek Meeting Recap

On Tuesday February 6, 2018 The Boy Scouts of America hosted the Friends of Indian Mill Creek to discuss watershed awareness and opportunities for improving water quality. Among the attendees were residents of Indian Mill Creek Watershed, local students and teachers, as well as representatives from local municipalities and agencies.

The main topics of the event were organizing a Spring Clean-up (June 2), water quality monitoring, outreach and education, changes in land-use within the watershed, and an update on the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). As part of on-going research through Grand Valley State University (GVSU), stream monitoring will continue this summer with the current graduate students (Dan Myers and Carlos Calderon). There will also be opportunities for residents of Indian Mill Creek watershed to participate in workshops and sampling days to collect water quality data. Citizen Science Day activities will be held April 13-14, stay tuned for more information.

 GVMC Director of Environmental Programs, Wendy Ogilvie, welcomes attendees to the February 6, 2018 meeting of the Friends of Indian Mill Creek.

GVMC Director of Environmental Programs, Wendy Ogilvie, welcomes attendees to the February 6, 2018 meeting of the Friends of Indian Mill Creek.

In addition to GVSU activities, three local schools are engaged in stream monitoring. CA Frost Environmental Science Academy, West Catholic High School and Kenowa Hills High School are planning rain gardens and other projects to raise awareness and help improve water quality in the Brandywine and Indian Mill Creeks. Student groups are also active in stream monitoring, with several planned field days.

Concerns about the health of the stream were raised at the meeting, including the presence of toxic materials and pesticides. MDEQ biologist Aaron Parker gave an update on water quality tests, explaining that some chemicals of concern were present at low levels, but further testing needs to be completed to determine effects on fish and other aquatic organisms. Other concerns within the stream included the presence of floating waste, old barrels and litter. The City of Grand Rapids, the City of Walker, and MDEQ have investigated all reported incidents on Indian Mill Creek and taken corrective action if necessary. If you see something that needs to be reported, please contact the appropriate party to ensure that action is taken. Visit https://www.lgrow.org/report/ for your community’s reporting process.

 Michigan Department of Environmental Quality biologist Aaron Parker gives an update on water quality monitoring and investigations of dumping reports in Indian Mill Creek

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality biologist Aaron Parker gives an update on water quality monitoring and investigations of dumping reports in Indian Mill Creek

Do you want to get involved in the watershed? Join the Friends of Indian Mill Creek Facebook group to receive updates on the date of our spring meeting and the Citizen Science Day monitoring activities on April 13-14. And don't forget to join us for the Indian Mill Creek Cleanup on June 2, 2018!

Meeting minutes are available here: Friends of Indian Mill Creek 2/6/2018 Meeting

Eileen Boekestein