Scouts label stormwater drains

Lester Kenyon, Ascension Parish Government
Troy Lowry (left) assists his son, Hunter, in applying industrial strength glue to a medallion and attaching it to a storm drain cover. David Karns (right), district program chairman with Cypress Chauve District, looks on. Hunter was representing Pack 942.

Scouts, parents, troop leaders and officials with the Cypress Chauve District descended on Ascension Parish subdivisions this past weekend as they labeled drainage covers with 400 four-inch medallions stating, “No Dumping, Only Rain in the Drain.”

The scouts were working as part of a service project for Ascension Parish’s Stormwater Management Program. The Stormwater Management Program is mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the scouts participated in the parish’s public outreach program.

“Ascension Parish residents have a lot to be proud of when they see what these scouts and their families are doing,” said Parish President Tommy Martinez. “By labeling these drainage systems and informing the public of good stewardship of our parish waterways, the message is getting out that a unified effort can bring forth positive changes in our local water quality.”

The scouts from Troop 65 and Packs 249 and 942 braved hot temperatures for two hours as they applied strong adhesive glue to the medallions and attached them to the drain covers of the stormwater drainage systems. Department of Public Works officials designated which drainage systems needed to be marked. Those systems eventually flow into the Amite River Basin, and curb and gutter developments on Swamp Road and Perkins Road.

David Karns, district program chairman with Cypress Chauve District, said the weekend effort was part of the scouts’ volunteer work for service projects.

“This gets them started for getting used to volunteer work,” Karns said. “Service work is one of the foundations that we teach them in scouting.”

Karns said volunteer Dana Rodriquez approached parish officials concerning available service projects and learned about the medallion installation effort.

According to a release by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “ Storm drain marking projects offer opportunities to educate the public about the link between storm drain systems, water quality and their watershed. In addition to the labeled storm drains, media coverage of the program or storm marking event can increase public awareness of stormwater issues. Volunteer groups can provide additional benefits by picking up trash near the marked storm drains and by noting where maintenance is needed.”