Environment Erie

Public Meetings & Workshops

Begin ANEW has held 3 public workshops and one professional workshop during the 2013. A combined total of 330 professionals attended workshops on "Managing Municipal Stormwater, Save the Rain for a Sunny Day, and Compost, The New "Black Gold." These workshops have helped Environment Erie inform both community members and businesses regarding the various ways we can preserve our local environment.

Managing Municipal Stormwater

Location: Tom Ridge Environmental Center
Date: April 17-18, 2013

EnvironmentErie is making it their mission to holistically approach runoff within the Erie community. On April 17th and 18th we hosted a Managing Municipal Stormwater workshop for those professionals that work with stormwater on a regular basis. This was a unique workshop in which day one was held inside listening presentations about local and regional stormwater problems and retrofits.

• Dr. Robert Traver with the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership
• Tim Bruno from the PADEP
• Steve Halmi with Deiss and Halmi Engineering
• Steve Fabian from Meadville Land Services
• Mark Fieley from Ernst Conservation Seed
• Scott Sjolander from the Penn State Cooperative Extension
• Dan Dahlkemper from Dahlkemper Landscaping and Architectural Design

With just under 70 particpants from all over the region, the first day was a huge success! After wrapping up day one with a round table discussion, day two was spent visiting local sites that were discussed in the first day’s presentations and hold some sort of stormwater significance. Some local sites included:

• 5 Guys and Fries and Pizza Hut plaza on Peninsula Drive
• St. Mary’s East
• Plastikos Inc.
• Cascade Creek.

The panel for the round table discussion closing the first day of the workshop. Panel members include: Steve Halmi, Dr. Rob Traver, Dan Dahlkemper, and Mark Fieley.

Steve Fabian with Meadville Land Services discusses the restoration work on Cascade Creek.

Continuing education units were available from Penn State University for those professionals seeking an opportunity to meet their professional needs.
Now that the professionals have been exposed to green infrastructure in stormwater management, it’s our goal to take it to the next level and educate the public.


"Save the Rain For a Sunny Day"

Check out our events page for dates and times for these workshops.

Save the Rain for a Sunny Day is a series of workshops hosted by Environment Erie to help educate residents and property owners on why stormwater is a problem and different practices they can use to reduce the contribution of runoff pollution leaving their property. The goals of these workshops were to help connect concerned residents with educated professionals on the issues of stormwater management through green infrastructure. Presentation topics include:
• Low Impact Development
• Landscaping with Native Plants
• Working with property owners on Stormwater Management
• Designing and Installing a Rain Garden
• Getting to Know your New Rain Barrel

Presenters include:
• Jake Moore – PA DEP
• Kaitlyn Vitale - Environment Erie
• Dave Marino – Dahlkemper Landscape
• Nate Millet – Environment Erie
• Ross Smith – Good Ideas Inc.

The structure of this residential workshop is similar to the Compost, the new “Black Gold” workshops in that each participant will go home with a rain barrel from Good Ideas Inc.

Workshop participants rain barrel

Ross from GOOD IDEAS Inc. explains how to use the rain barrels.


Compost, The New "Black Gold"

Location: Tom Ridge Environmental Center
Dates: April 13/20, September 7/28, 2013
Participants: 200+ (50 households/workshop)

The Erie County Recycling Program and Environment Erie partnered together for the third year on this exciting, hands-on workshop on backyard composting. Approximately 70 attendees per workshop learned how to build and maintain a successful compost pile from everyday organic waste material and discovered opportunities made available through the Millfair Compost and Recycling Center as well as through the Erie County Recycling Center, that hosts household hazardous waste collection days. Upon completion of workshop, each participating household received a FREE Compost Wizard Jr. from Good Ideas, Inc. … a give-away valued at $150!

“This has been a wonderful experience. I learned a lot and I am not only inspired to compost everything I can, but I’d like to get more involved in my community.” - Anonymous

For more information about backyard composting: Check out this article

Asian Carp Social Hour

Location: Tom Ridge Environmental Center, 3 B's Saloon
Date: April 12, 2013
Participants: 85

What are you going to do if the Asian Carp break through the Mississippi River and get in to the Great Lakes? If you live in the Erie area you understand how important Lake Erie is to our economy. Whether you enjoy the trout fishing in Lake Erie’s pristine tributaries, jet skiing or boating around the point of Presque Isle, or just relaxing on the beach, these activities would be in jeopardy if the Asian Carp were present.
So what’s being done? Understanding the environmental and economical affect these fish could have, representatives of the City of Erie signed a memorandum encouraging and supporting the need for additional research on how these species of Carp can be held back from entering into the Great Lakes. As we’ve seen with the Zebra Mussels, Round Gobies, and even the Phragmites, once an invasive species with such aggressive nature enters into the freshwater systems of the Great Lakes there is very little that can be done to control their population. Even more drastic, the Asian Carp are known for their jumping activity when startled by engine motors which would put boaters and fishermen in danger while on the Lake.

Environment Erie made it their goal to support the City of Erie and shine a bright light on their commitment to keeping the Great Lakes free from these flying fish. On April 12 we held a press conference at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center which included statements from Environment Erie’s Executive Director, Amy-Jo Smith, Senator Sean Wiley’s office, Councilman Dave Brennan and Jim Grazio, a biologist with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Following the press conference, Environment Erie held a social hour for the public at the Three B’s Saloon. In addition to the great BBQ and drink specials, there were mounts of Asian Carp on display, a raffle drawing for a fishing pole donated by the SONS of Lake Erie, fact sheets on preventing the spread of invasive species, and a petition for the public to sign in support of the City of Erie’s stance on the protection of the Great Lakes.

The supported resolution is part of a larger efforts put forth by Fresh Water Future and the Great Lakes region. For more information on the resolution, and a map of supporting communities, follow this link: Fresh Water Future

Watch for Environment Erie’s next social hour!

Councilman Dave Brennan talking about the City’s actions at the Press Conference

Watching the press conference during the 5 o clock news at the Three B’s Saloon