Grand Lake watershed map.

The Grand River Dam Authority is hosting two one-day workshops for teachers in the Grand Lake watershed on Monday, July 20 and Wednesday, July 22 at the Ecosystems and Education Center in Langley. The main audience for the workshops is fourth grade teachers; however, any teacher in one of the schools located within the Grand Lake watershed in Oklahoma (see map) is welcome to attend. Fourth grade teachers will receive a lesson plan specifically developed to cover issues found in the Grand Lake watershed and includes hands-on activities such as making a rainfall simulator and teaching students how what happens on the land affects the lake they live near.

Each school represented at the workshops will be eligible for a small grant from GRDA to implement some type of best management practice, such as building a rain garden or installing a rainwater harvesting system. Additional ideas include holding a school-wide water festival or community water education event. Grants can range from $500 – $5,000.

The workshops are free, but registration is required and limited to 20 people per workshop. GRDA will ensure all internal, state and CDC guidelines, such as ensuring adequate space for social distancing are met. A boxed lunch will be provided. To register visit, https://www.eventbrite.com/e/108480919350.

The workshops are funded by a recently awarded environmental education grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The grant is being used to implement the Guard the Grand Watershed Conservation Program which is a new initiative to help residents, businesses and users better understand how they impact the watershed. A series of public workshops targeting residents and businesses is being developed and will be held virtually with videos posted on YouTube beginning later this summer.

“Part of our mission at GRDA is to preserve and protect the waters of the Grand River Watershed. Educating the citizens that live around and recreate on the lake is an important part of our mission. Everyone in the watershed has an impact on the lake and we can’t improve water quality and improve our healthy ecosystems without their help. Providing educational information to those that interact with the watershed is one way to gain broader support for the solutions we need for the future,” said GRDA President/Chief Executive Officer Dan Sullivan.

Jeri Fleming, with Dragonfly Consulting, LLC is working in partnership with GRDA to implement the program. Fleming has extensive experience in environmental education implementation and ties to the Grand Lake Watershed, having grown up in Locust Grove. For questions about the Guard the Grand initiative, or the workshops you can reach Fleming at jeri.r.fleming@gmail.com or (405) 334-6343.

GRDA is Oklahoma’s largest public power utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees and efficiency.