In recognition of its groundwater and environmental stewardship, Northwestern College has been named a 2011 Groundwater Guardian Green Site by The Groundwater Foundation of Lincoln, Neb. This is the fourth consecutive year of designation for Northwestern under the leadership of Sue Taylor, government regulations specialist, and Ward Van Peursem, grounds supervisor, based on responsible use of chemicals and water, pollution prevention, and water quality.
Green Sites are highly managed green spaces, such as golf courses, zoos, colleges, parks and camps, which implement groundwater and surface water-friendly practices. Of the 25 sites honored this year, Northwestern is one of only three from Iowa and one of only five colleges nationwide.
Northwestern also received the Green Site Growth Award for implementing additional groundwater-friendly practices. The campus’ most recent practices include partnering with Orange City to add two additional detention ponds to capture runoff and instituting ConServe, a Student Government Association-sponsored program that challenges students to curb water and energy consumption.
“Green Sites, like Northwestern College, can truly have a positive impact on the environment,” says Jennifer Wemhoff, Groundwater Foundation’s program manager. “The groundwater and environmentally friendly practices they implement help benefit water resources, improve wildlife habitat, reduce storm water runoff, and responsibly manage potentially hazardous materials.”
Northwestern’s water-friendly practices include applying fertilizer based on nutrient analysis, maintaining a no-application zone around surface water and active wells, selecting plants adapted to the region’s climate, disposing of toxic substances properly, and irrigating lawns at night to reduce evaporation.
The Groundwater Guardian Green Site program was begun in 2007 to recognize good stewards of groundwater by encouraging green space managers to implement, measure and document groundwater-friendly practices.