On Wednesday, May 3, New Hampshire Soak Up the Rain staff, Lisa Loosigian, Barbara McMillan, Rob Livingston, and Steve Landry, traveled to Faneuil Hall Square in Boston to receive an EPA Environmental Merit Award.
Each year, EPA Region 1 honors the passion, commitment, and stewardship of New Englanders who have achieved on-the-ground environmental successes protecting human health and the environment across various categories. The awards represent professional sectors, states and communities including community leaders, scientists, government officials, business leaders, schools, students, and more.
Soak Up the Rain NH, (SOAK NH) was recognized with the Government Merit Award as a unique innovative program working with citizens and local partners to encourage practices that protect and restore New Hampshire waters from pollution caused by stormwater runoff. The team works with homeowners and students, local officials and nonprofits, municipal staff, and landscaper training programs, to name a few. SOAK NH provides training and outreach materials and has participated in many New Hampshire and regional watershed-based professional events, from the 4th Grade Drinking Water Festival and Science Fair, to joining USEPA Region 1 at the 2016 Boston Flower and Garden Show. The SOAK NH Facebook page and website inform homeowners about how to reduce runoff, including the NH Homeowner’s Guide to Stormwater Management: Do-It-Yourself Stormwater Solutions. Since the program began in 2012, it has worked with about 15 partner groups on 26 installations that include rain gardens, water bars, infiltration trenches and infiltration steps, rain barrels, a dry well and a vegetated buffer.
Jillian McCarthy and Eric Williams were also included in the award, honoring Jillian for creating SOAK NH and Eric for his faith in and support of the program.
Other New Hampshire 2017 awardees included: The NHDES Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau which received a Government Merit Award for its Be Well Informed program, and the NHDES former Commissioner Tom Burack who received the Ira Leighton “In Service to States” award.
To learn more about the awards, please visit EPA at: https://www.epa.gov/environmental-merit-awards-new-england/2017-environmental-merit-award-recipients#InService2States