Razorback Regional Trail System demo will highlight natural water flow
Demo will illustrate how pollutants can enter waterways from streets and trails, as well as ways to abate it
Visit www.uaex.edu/nwastormwater for more information
FAYETTEVILLE — Washington and Benton county residents availing themselves of some outdoor exercise on the Razorback Regional Greenway may have noticed a series of blue whiskers and stickers crossing the trail. The markers show the path of the waterways that flow through the area, often right underneath pedestrians’ feet.
The demonstration is an effort by the Northwest Arkansas Stormwater Education program that works with cities in the region to provide stormwater pollution prevention education. The blue 6-inch whiskers follow the water’s path from where it enters a storm drain to an outfall, where the drain empties into a nearby stream without going through any type of treatment process.
Jane Maginot, Washington County Cooperative Extension Service agent for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, manages the NWA Stormwater Education Program.
“Many people have the misconception that storm drains lead to a wastewater treatment plant, but that is incorrect in Northwest Arkansas,” Maginot said. “Any potential pollutants that may be on our city streets, parking lots and lawns — such as oil, litter, pet waste or fertilizers flow — directly to creeks, harming water quality.”
There are four demonstration locations currently installed on the Greenway, two of which are in Walker Park in Fayetteville. Another two are in Rogers: one near the New Hope Bridge and the other at the Horsebarn trailhead. The demonstrations will be moved to other locations throughout the year.
Pack Rat Outdoor Center, a Fayetteville outfitter, partnered with the Cooperative Extension Service for the project, donating a pair of Chaco sandals and several gift cards, to be awarded as prizes for individuals participating in the project’s online survey. To enter for a chance to win, fill out the survey at www.uaex.edu/nwastormwater. The survey will end May 25.