A Greener Indiana

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Article on Save Maumee from Freeze Dried Gray Matter

Change starts at the ground roots level

Friday, February 12, 2010

By Robert Rouse

 

Abigail Frost ~ Now Abigail King

 

Mr & Mrs. Davis and Abigail King were married on the shores of the Maumee River on June 5, 2010

 

Abigail Frost took the mantle of a grassroots organizer to the nth degree after purchasing a home that overlooked the Maumee River in Fort Wayne, IN. What she found in the river below her home compelled her to found and organize the Save Maumee Grassroots Organization.

 

The riverbank must have looked like a dump site to Frost. Trash and debris littered the banks of the Maumee beneath her home. Frost and her army of volunteers do their best to raise awareness about the problems
with not just the Maumee River, but with the other two rivers (St. Jospeph and St. Mary’s) that converge with the Maumee near downtown Fort Wayne.

 

Each Earth Day, the group organizes a clean-up of the banks. One year resulted in more that two tons of garbage extracted.

Here is a little more information about the Three Rivers – which, by the way, I live less than 100 yards from the confluence – provided by Save Maumee.

The 3 Rivers in Fort Wayne, Indiana appear brown and muddy, but the clay, silt bottom makes the color less than appealing to the average American.

Little do you know that the color is the very least of this watershed’s problems.

The St. Joe (starting at the bottom of this picture) is where over 200,000 people get their drinking water.

The St. Mary’s (on the far right) flows through several northeast IN counties and has high pollution and frequent flooding.

The Maumee River has high mercury, PCB and E. coli content, Fish Consumption advisories and is filling up with sediment and garbage. It also flows
into the largest fresh water source in the world…The Great Lakes.

For even more information about this outstanding organization, please visit their website.

Ironically, the City of Fort Wayne appears to have developed a green policy, but it seems more directed at businesses than turning the city green. According to the city’s web site:

Fort Wayne, IN

As of February 9, 2010, the Green City Business Program has trained 90 businesses and organizations. This growing program recognizes organizations that have completed all
the necessary requirements to become certified as a Green City Business
of the City of Fort Wayne.

The Green City Business Program is designed for businesses with existing facilities that work toward reducing waste and inefficiencies in four
areas: Pollution Prevention, Solid Waste Reduction, Energy Conservation,
and Water Conservation. The program is not geared for home office
businesses.

As of February 1, 2010 there are 18 certified Green City Businesses in Fort Wayne.

I do have to give the city a little credit for their implementation of a Green City Newsletter that offers tips on saving the environment and
better utilizing energy.

I asked former Allen County Democratic Chairman, Kevin Knuth what he thought could be done at the city or individual level to turn the environment around and he said, “I have to give that some thought.
The first OBSTACLE I see is that basically, it often requires an
up-front expenditure to save money in the long term. And the public
doesn’t seem to ‘get it’
.” He added, “The city does offer
re-cycling. I also remember when they used to take yard waste
separately – but they had to stop because it cost too much. So now we
put grass clippings in landfills
.”

I want to thank Abigail Frost, Kevin Knuth, and City Council member, Karen Goldner for their assistance. If you have any ideas or suggestions on grassroots efforts to save the planet one neighborhood at
a time, leave me a comment.

 

 

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Tags: Abigail, Business, City, Clean, Clean-up, Dried, Fort, Freeze, Frost, Goldner, More…Gray, Green, Indiana, Karen, Kevin, Knuth, Matter, Maumee, Pollution, Program, River, Robert, Rouse, Save, Water, Wayne

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Comment by Grace Strahm on February 19, 2010 at 2:44pm
I have never lived in or asked Canterbury Green about this, but when I have lived in other apartment complexes, I was NOT allowed to keep garbage or recycling bins on my balcony or patio. Had to keep it inside if I wanted to collect it - and was lacking storage space for such a project in an apartment for sure! I'd say this oppression of recycling collection definitely needs to be addressed
Comment by Abigail King (Frost-King) on February 14, 2010 at 11:03am
Thanks Robert Rouse!
On a side note, recycling does NOT occur at the largest apt. complex in Fort Wayne. Canterbury Green has over 1,100 apartment units and ONE recycle bin....located at the "clubhouse." I think that if it was more easily accessible to people who live in the apts, it would increase recycling in our city. I know that apt. complexes have to pay for the service of recycling bins for all the units, so maybe waiving a fee for at least the 2 largest?

Thanks for the use of the soapbox....

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