FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The City’s Department of Environmental Services is seeking input on how residents interact with water resources and amenities in Springfield to help create a better connection between residents and the Ozarks’ natural environment.
“Our local streams, rivers and lakes are such a vital part of our Ozarks way of life,” explains Sustainability and Market Development Coordinator Ashley Krug. “The Environmental Services department works to protect and improve these natural resources, while also being responsible with our citizens’ dollars. As we work to protect the environment in ways that match what our citizens want and need, it’s important for us to learn more about how everyone uses our local water sources.”
The public input initiative is supported by a $10,000 Partners for Places micro-grant facilitated through Community Foundation of the Ozarks and Community Partnership of the Ozarks, and multiple agencies in the community.
The initial focus of the grant was to gather input from community members most impacted by the effects of climate change, including communities of color, children, the elderly, low-income households and people with disabilities. The outreach team distributed surveys at community events, hung door hangers in diverse neighborhoods and conducted focus groups in order to collect data from a wide variety of perspectives and ensure a representative sample of the community was surveyed.
“Environmental Services conducts sustainable return on investment or SROI studies to assess the value and effectiveness of various programs and initiatives,” explains Professional Engineer Saki Urushidani. “In our last round of studies, we learned that outreach and education about our local water resources has a high return on investment and positive impact on water quality. This initial round of targeted input helped us to learn more about barriers that our community may be experiencing in accessing water resources. This information will inform staff and partners of opportunities to get more people to the water, whether it’s Jordan Creek, the James River, or the stream near their home.”
Those interested in providing input are encouraged to complete the 5-minute survey at cityofsgf.questionpro.com/watertalk through Jan. 10.
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For more information, contact Communication Coordinator Kristen Milam at 573-819-3713 or [email protected].