FORT WAYNE—On Sunday, April 17, local citizens are scheduled to band together during Save Maumee Grassroots Organization’s 11th annual Earth Day celebration to plant 390 trees and tackle litter along the Maumee River. This event will help to reforest the banks of the Maumee River in Fort Wayne, which flows directly into an EPA-designated Area of Concern.
“Save Maumee has been dedicated to protecting the Maumee River and its tributaries because a healthy community starts with a healthy river. The Maumee takes on all the water from both the St. Mary’s and St. Joseph Rivers, and ultimately flows into Lake Erie. It makes sense to preserve and protect the Maumee River at the headwaters.
Clean and healthy rivers provide everything from clean drinking water to recreational opportunities to fish and wildlife habitat,” said Abigail King, vice president and founder of the group. “According to Plan-It-Allen, Allen County’s comprehensive plan, most of the forested corridor along rivers and streams has been removed, in addition to 24 percent of our tree canopy that is scheduled for removal due to damage caused by the emerald ash borer. Add all the concrete and rooftops and reduction of natural filtration devices like trees and you don’t need to wonder why we have flooding problems. Allen County is, was, the Great Black Swamp. Each tree is estimated to absorb 59 gallons of water per year, so fewer trees equates to more flooding.”
This is Save Maumee’s most popular annual event, raising public awareness about the need for healthy rivers, and is a great opportunity for civic engagement. The volunteers will be planting native tree species funded by a grant through the U.S. Forest Service as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.
“Save Maumee is committed to keeping the Maumee River clean, so it can be a resource for us—and future generations. Planting a tree and participating in a river clean-up is one way that citizens can do their part for the river we all love,” said Lydia LaMont, SaveMaumee president.
“Rivers connect us to each other, to nature, and to future generations. It is wonderful to see so many people in Fort Wayne and across the country taking action to protect and restore their rivers and clean water,” said Bob Irvin, president of American Rivers. “We applaud the work of Save Maumee for the work they do on behalf of the river and the community.”
The purpose of Save Maumee Grassroots Organization is to preserve, protect and improve the ecosystems of the Upper Maumee River and watershed by increasing public awareness through advocacy, collaboration, education and hands-on projects.
To find the exact location, please see the map at: savemaumee.org/earth-day-2016,