Janesville is part of the Rock River Stormwater Group. It is a city located in Rock County in southern Wisconsin and has a population of 63,575. Janesville is known to be “Wisconsin’s Park Place.” The Rock River runs right through Janesville. For more information about Janesville’s stormwater, go to http://www.ci.janesville.wi.us/government/departments-divisions/public-works/engineering-division/stormwater-greenbelt-management-information.
Rehabilitation of the City’s greenbelt system with conversion to native prairie vegetation:
Janesville has been working on rehabilitating the city’s greenbelts as an ongoing project since 2007. There were two reasons for starting this program. First, because of the relatively recent EPA and WDNR stormwater regulations the city is now required to clean stormwater runoff prior to the water entering a lake or stream. Second, because the greenbelts have become so degraded there is a need to rehabilitate these environmental corridors. The process of managing a greenbelt includes the removal of invasive trees and shrubs. This is followed by planting a ground cover, nursery crop, and prairie grasses. About a year later, wildflowers are planted within the greenbelt. Three years after the initial restoration, greenbelt lands are evaluated for a scheduled and supervised burn of prairie grasses and continued maintenance and restoration needs. The primary purpose of this project is to provide surface water run-off and prevent flooding and property damage. Greenbelts provide open space and encourage active and passive recreational activities. They also support wildlife, natural prairie growth, trail use, enhance adjacent property values, and overall aesthetics of the city. Future greenbelt plans include planting additional prairie, prescribed burns, and trail improvements.
Information obtained from:
Recent Leaf study work completed by the two high schools:
The City of Janesville and school district teamed up to study leaf management in the fall of 2016. Craig and Parker High School students in environmental science and communications technology classes assisted the City of Janesville in an important study related to leaf management and stormwater quality. The City is collecting data for the United States Geological Survey (USGS) regarding municipal leaf management activities and the effects on waterway pollutants. The Rock River is an impaired waterway with phosphorous being one of the leading pollutants in the river. These high levels of phosphorous can cause toxic algae blooms, weeds, depleted oxygen levels, reduced water clarity and reduced recreational opportunities. Leaves are a major source of the phosphorous within Janesville and the leaves washed from the street contribute to contamination in the river. This study focused on residential streets near Craig High School. Residents were instructed to manage their leaves differently based on their street. Throughout the study, the City staff and students collected data about the leaf management practices and potential impacts on phosphorous contamination in the river. This study is being used to shape Janesville’s leaf collection program.
Information obtained from: http://www.wclo.com/2016/10/10/city-of-janesville-and-school-district-team-up-to-study-leaf-management/
Recent Education activities completed in local schools
There have been recent education activities completed in Janesville schools. The theme of the activities was stormwater circulation in K-12 classrooms. UW-Whitewater students visited Jefferson Elementary School 2nd and 3rd grade classes, Jackson Elementary classes, Tagos Elementary School classes, St. Mary’s Elementary classes, and Rock River Charter School 9th through 12th grade classes. The presentations consisted of an Enviroscape Watershed and Envision Groundwater models.
Information obtained from: http://www.fortatkinsonwi.net/DRAFT%20Stormwater%20Report%20Fort%20Atkinson%202016.pdf