$250,000 of the $5.6 million SEPP was directed at developing an environmental curriculum for Manchester eighth grade. Progress to date includes:
- The Merrimack River Watershed Council was contracted to help develop a curriculum for the schools.
- A draft curriculum entitled, Merrimack River MATTERS (Manchester’s Actions That Totally Enhance River Systems) was prepared working with a Teacher Advisory Committee.
- The curriculum was implemented at the four Middle Schools in Manchester.
- As part of the curriculum, students have participated in environmental field trips. Students from Parkside were out on the Piscataquog River collecting bugs and sampling water quality. Students from Hillside helped with clean up and water testing and students from Southside are creating a children’s book about the Merrimack River.
- The Merrimack River Watershed Council received a $10,500 grant from EPA-New England in fall 2001 to help implement the curriculum.
How can you get involved?
There is a lot happening as part of the SEPP, and there are many opportunities for new ideas to be implemented and for partnerships to form. We are seeking involvement from the business community in Manchester, as well as citizen involvement. We have set up an email address and a SEPP Hotline you can call with questions or ideas, (603) 624-6513. Be in Touch! It’s your City, what do you think is possible for Manchester, let us know.
What You Can Do at Home?
It's amazing what each individual home owner or renter can do to help clean the environment. If you take any of the following steps you'll have made a difference and helped Manchester's environment in your own way. Remember, every Little Bit Helps!
- Sweep the street in front of your house
- Use less fertilizer on your lawn
- Dispose of chemicals and trash properly- participate in semi-annual household hazardous waste collections (May/October)
- Practice water conservation
- Compost your waste
- RECYCLE - Also, encourage others to save natural resources and tax dollars through active participation
- Prevent soil erosion by keeping vegetation in place near rivers
- Capture your roof water and use for watering
- Maintain your septic system
Health Risk Reduction for Children
Part of the education program is to help families with young children understand the inherent risks from various sources of pollution. In the SEP Program, $500,000 of the $5.6 million SEPP is directed toward improving children’s health in Manchester, specifically in the area of asthma reduction and lead poisoning prevention. Progress to date includes:
- The City hired a Health Department Toxicologist, using SEPP funds, to implement this portion of the Program
- Air toxics monitors have been placed in the Beech Street School to investigate triggers for asthma
- The Toxicologist has been collecting data from school nurses on the incidence of asthma
- As part of the SEPP, $50,000 a year is available for local grants. In 2000, a $7,000 grant was awarded to the American Lung Association to establish a baseline data collection system on the prevalence and severity of asthma in Manchester public elementary schools, and a $43,000 grant was given to the Way Home’s Healthy Home Service Project for peer education for lead poisoning prevention, and to improve in-home asthma trigger education. In 2001, a $50,000 grant was also awarded to "The Way Home" to continue their work.
- The Toxicologist has prepared several brochures and fact sheets on health issues.
- The Program was finalized in 2005 with a final progress report submitted to the SEPP Committee and available at the Manchester Health Department