of Beyond the Midway
Like all good stories, the Connected Sustainability project at the Fairgrounds has had its share of heroes and heroines. The story stretches over years of visions, of possibility, nurturing of allegiances, small steps and great leaps forward. Key players have come and gone and a few have returned to provide guidance, expertise and sweat equity.
And, like any good story Connected Sustainability begins with…
Once Upon A Time….
There was a department in the federal government that began to develop guidelines and regulations that state and local government would follow to manage storm water run offs. The changes that led to the Fairgrounds project had their beginnings in 2003.
Recognizing the harmful impacts of rushing unmanaged storm water, the Environmental Protection Agency began requiring state and local governments to educate the public about ways to reduce or eliminate pollution and mitigate flooding to protect the nation’s streams, rivers and lakes from rushing waters off cities, factories and other paved and covered surfaces that carried pollution and sediment from erosion. There were concerns that the “natural sponges” of the earth, wetlands, were being drained, paved over and disturbed with man-made developments. There was growing concern about other less obvious pollution such as oils, garbage, fertilizers and farm waste swept into the aquifers along with the rain waters.
Education became a priority for the new “stormwater” programs.
While many cities and counties took actions separately, officials from Wilson County, Lebanon and Mt. Juliet began to work together, pooling their resources to develop cooperative efforts to implement the EPA requirements and to develop a common philosophy and set of guidelines. The result was the Wilson County Water Group (WCW).