Why We Are Here: Earth Force’s long standing partnership with General Motors prompted the GREEN program’s establishment in Toledo.
Toledo is located at the mouth of the Maumee River, the largest watershed of any Great Lakes river with 6,354 square miles draining into it. Lake Erie has had record amounts of blue-green algae as well as sediment and nutrients, and long-term water quality monitoring has identified the Maumee River as being the largest single contributor of non-point source pollution to the lake.
The Toledo area has an industrial past, becoming a hub for several railroad companies and industries like furniture producers, carriage makers, breweries, glass manufacturers, and others. Large immigrant populations came to the area, attracted by the many factory jobs available and the city's easy accessibility. This history has contributed to some of the environmental issues in the river, such as heavy metals and PCBs contaminants, causing fish and human health issues. Students have helped bring awareness to these issues through the Student Watershed Watch, which GREEN has helped to develop as part of the EPA Remedial Action Plan for this watershed.
Demographics: City of Toledo
Toledo School District - 55% of all students served are receiving free/reduced lunch
17.8% of families were below poverty level throughout Toledo.
According to the 2006-2008 American Community Survey, the racial composition of Toledo was:
• White: 68.89%
• Black or African American: 24.79%
• Native American: 0.33%
• Asian: 1.20%
• Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.00%
• Some other race: 0.00%
• Two or more races: 2.31%
• Hispanic or Latino (of any race): 6.44%
Source: American FactFinder, United States Census Bureau. "Toledo, Ohio - ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates: 2006-2008". Factfinder.census.gov. link. Retrieved 2010.
What We Are Doing: We have partnered with TMACOG and the GM Toledo Transmission facility to implement the GREEN program in support of the Student Watershed Watch (SWW) and a GM facility based monitoring program. Each year the SWW brings hundreds of students together from urban and rural school districts in the Maumee River watershed to learn about our local environment.
Highlights of this two-part program includes water quality testing performed by junior and senior high school classes at local stream sites, including chemical and benthic testing. The program culminates at a student summit where student representatives from participating schools release and compare their results. Students also have an opportunity to network with their peers and local professionals during the poster and workshop sessions of the summit (http://www.maumeerap.org/SWW.html).
The GM Toledo facility recently engaged a local elementary for the first time to monitor at a natural area nearby. TMACOG involved high school SWW students in mentoring the younger students on macroinvertebrate identification at this event.
Earth Force History in this Community: Our partners, TMACOG and General Motors, have had a presence in Toledo for decades, and through their renewed support of the GREEN program Earth Force has been able to support water monitoring and a yearly student summit to present watershed data. In 2010, the local GM facility has agreed to contribute mentors, funding and student summit support to GREEN, reinvigorating our long standing relationship with this facility.
Number of Youth: 781
Number of Educators: 23
Participating Partners: TMACOG Student Watershed Watch - http://www.tmacog.org/Environment/SWW_09/SWW_09.htm
General Motors – www.gm.com
Participating School Districts: Toledo City School District - http://www.tps.org/
Washington Local Schools - http://www.washloc.k12.oh.us/