Originally presented at StormCon 2023.
The District Department of the Environment (DDOE) Watershed Protection Division – “RiverSmart Schools” now in its 12th year, is developed to assist teachers with the training and financial resources required to install conservation sites on their school grounds and utilize them for educational purposes. Once installed, the sites have the benefit of serving as outdoor learning spaces that support experiential teaching practices and promote environmental stewardship. The program’s primary goal has been to provide ease of access to these “outdoor classrooms.” The RiverSmart Schools program has expanded the earlier schoolyard conservation concept to include a focus on green infrastructure that provides stormwater management on-site. Low Impact Development (LID) technologies are now emphasized when opportunities are available at participating school sites. All participating schools are evaluated for LID opportunities in an initial stormwater audit conducted by DDOE staff. School sites identified as LID-appropriate have access to a larger funding source. The RiverSmart Schools program seeks to standardize both the menu of construction options and the education components across large and small projects. Under the new RiverSmart Schools program sites with permitted LID projects will have access to school facilities management resources and maintenance will be enforceable under DDOE’s Inspection Enforcement Branch. Additionally, we have incentive programs that will assist and encourage stormwater management practices.
About the Presenters
P. Trinh Doan is an Environmental Protection Specialist working for the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), Watershed Protection Division since 2007. Her primary work involves coordinating watershed-scale programs to reduce non-point source pollution. Additionally, she is promoting environmental education initiatives and outdoor learning spaces. She has over 20 years of experience in the development of environmental education policy and regional watershed programming and funding.
Lawrence Ukhunmwundede Omoregbe is an environmental engineer with the District of Columbia Department of Energy & Environment in the construction and maintenance branch of the Inspection and Enforcement Division. Lawrence has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C., and is a graduate student at the Catholic University of America, where he is enrolled in the Master of Science degree program in Civil Environmental Engineering and Water Resources.