Get up, get out and Explore Plano this week as we highlight both Stormwater Management and the Sustainability and Environmental Education Department (SEED). The Stormwater team manages the requirements of the Texas Pollution Discharge Elimination System (TPDES). The team monitors stormwater quality, drainage systems, improves water quality and environmental health and offers public education to the Plano community. The Sustainability and Environmental Education Department (SEED) also works in conjunction with the Stormwater team to help educate and engage the community in sustainable practices and environmental stewardship. Plano was recently given a 4-Star Community rating for sustainability based on its efforts to promote a healthy environment, a strong economy and well-being for all residents, now and for future generations. Other recent acknowledgements include the National Sustainability Award for the department’s water conservation and public education efforts. Explore Plano this month with the challenges below and help us keep Plano clean and beautiful!

Get hands-on experience as you conduct your very own water quality test. A Stormwater Management team will teach you how to think like a scientist and gain real experience with water quality testing. You can participate in water quality testing on July 22 or August 19. Still want to learn more after completing this challenge? High schoolers can join the Water Quality Assessment Program to learn more about the natural conditions of local creeks and streams. Students will get the opportunity to think, read and write like a scientist!

Branch out beyond the backyard and visit the Nature Explore Classroom. This unique outdoor classroom connects children with nature through activities engaging important skills in science, math, music, movement, language, literacy, art and social visual-spatial development. The surrounding landscape showcases key ecological concepts including animal habitats, composting, ecological cycles, gardening, recycling, water issues and more. While you’re there, be sure to share your photos with us by using hashtag #exploreplano.

While you’re out at the Nature Explore Classroom, pick up 10 pieces of litter you find along the creek next to the Environmental Education Center. Once you’ve found the 10 pieces of litter, head over to the Zero Waste station and place the items in the correct bins. Take a before and after photo of your cleanup and share by using the hashtag #exploreplano.

Find a storm drain inlet in your neighborhood lacking the “Keep it Clean, Drains into Stream” label. If you think you’ve spotted one, register online to get what you need to mark the storm drains near you. Snap and share the storm drain you’ve marked with the hashtag #exploreplano.

Check back next week as we highlight the Plano Fire-Rescue Department’s challenges. Your next challenges include visiting a fire station, checking your fire alarms and learning CPR! For more information on this and other upcoming challenges, visit plano.gov/exploreplano. Share your progress with us as you complete challenges on social media with hashtag #exploreplano.

Todd Rice

Todd Rice is the Senior Marketing and Communications Coordinator at the City of Plano. He has been working in municipal marketing and media relations since 2013. He grew up in Dallas, TX and attended the...