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$30,000 EPA grant to help start garden

An Arkansas nonprofit will start a community garden and education program in Little Rock with $30,000 in a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Justice grant, according to an announcement from Arkansas Interfaith Power and Light.

The group, which already has worked with Team of Neighbors That Love on a community garden on 12th Street, will start a garden at Mabelvale Middle School and Oak Forest Community Garden.

The group plans to create a network of local growers and start a food hub at 4317 W. 12th St. Excess foods will be given to food pantries at the 12th Street Health and Wellness Clinic, Stephens Elementary School and Grace Presbyterian Church, among others, according to the announcement.

Funds also will be used to help Stephens Elementary School students participate in learning activities at the Stephens Neighborhood Association Garden, the group said.

Arkansas Interfaith Power and Light will work with the school and 12th Street corridor residents to reduce utility bills.

The organization will hold a news conference at 9 a.m. Wednesday at Promise Garden Park, 4317 W. 12th St., to discuss the grant. EPA personnel will be on hand.

Volunteers remove trash along creek

Volunteers removed 3,150 pounds of trash and other junk from Fourche Creek at a cleanup last month, according to an announcement from Friends of Fourche Creek.

The group reported 58 volunteers participated in its Fourche Creek Cleanup and BioBlitz on Oct. 28.

Among the 3,150 pounds of junk were 106 tires.

The creek, located across Little Rock's midsection, is a dumping ground for trash but Friends of Fourche Creek and partner organizations continue to promote the creek's potential for recreation.

In May, state officials designated the creek as the state's first Urban Water Trail.

Buffalo River panel launches website

The Beautiful Buffalo River Action Committee has launched its own website, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality announced in a news release.

The website contains information about why the committee was created, when its meetings are and who its members are. The website also contains documents from presentations at each of its meetings and summaries from meetings on the river's watershed management planning.

The committee is a group of state agencies that discuss nonregulatory approaches to protect and support the Buffalo River. Those agencies are the departments of Environmental Quality, Agriculture and Parks and Tourism and the Arkansas Natural Resource Commission. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Arkansas Geographic Information Systems Office are partners to the committee.

Public hearing set on water standards

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality will hold a public hearing today on proposed changes to water standards in Town Branch, Holman Creek and a part of War Eagle Creek.

The city of Huntsville has proposed the changes to accommodate its wastewater treatment plant.

In each stream, the standard is 185 milligrams of chloride per liter of water, 525 milligrams of total dissolved solids per liter of water and 41 milligrams of sulfate per liter of water.

The city has proposed changing standards for Town Branch from the wastewater plant to Holman Creek to 223 milligrams of chloride per liter of water, 779 milligrams of total dissolved solids per liter of water and 61 milligrams of sulfate per liter of water.

In Holman Creek, the city wants to allow 180 milligrams of chloride per liter of water, 621 milligrams of total dissolved solids per liter of water and 48 milligrams of sulfate per liter of water.

In War Eagle Creek from Holman Creek to Clifty Creek, the city is asking for 39 milligrams of chloride per liter of water, 248 milligrams of total dissolved solids per liter of water and 17 milligrams of sulfate per liter of water.

In War Eagle Creek from Clifty Creek to Beaver Lake, the city wants to permit 13 milligrams of chloride per liter of water, 240 milligrams of total dissolved solids per liter of water and 17 milligrams of sulfate per liter of water.

The city first proposed changing the water standards in 2013.

The meeting will be at 6 p.m. in the Madison County Courthouse. Interested parties have until 4:30 p.m. Dec. 4 to submit comments to the department.

Metro on 11/13/2017

Print Headline: Environment notebook

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