May 25, 2011

IRM Construction Work To Begin This Summer at Wastebed B/Harbor Brook Subsite

A Response Action Document for the East Barrier Wall Interim Remedial Measure at the Wastebed B/Harbor Brook Site (part of the Onondaga Lake federal Superfund Site) is now available at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s website:

This document describes the Interim Remedial Measure (IRM) that has been selected to prevent contamination in the Wastebed B/Harbor Brook subsite from reaching the lake.  The IRM, which is another step toward a final remedy for the site, involves:
  • installing a vertical barrier wall to the east of Lower Harbor Brook
  • relocating and restoring Lower Harbor Brook
  • constructing a groundwater collection system to the east of the existing Lower Harbor Brook Channel (west of the new channel)
Design work for this IRM continues. Construction of the East Barrier Wall will start this summer and is expected to be complete by 2012.

May 22, 2011

Onondaga Lake Mapping Activity

Free and open to the public!

Monday, May 23rd, 6:30-8:00 PM
Community Room, Solvay Public Library
615 Woods Road
Solvay, NY 13209

Onondaga Lake Mapping Activity: Join us for a hands-on opportunity to learn about the historical and present-day conditions of Onondaga lake and to share your personal observations about the current state of the watershed.  This activity will be led by The Onondaga Lake Community Education Project, a collaborative effort between the Onondaga Nation, the Onondaga Environmental Institute, and Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation to provide historical and ecological education, facilitate the exchange of community knowledge and experience, and foster public participation in the restoration of Onondaga Lake and its watershed.

May 18, 2011

Billy B - The Natural Science Song and Dance Man!

Skiddy Park | May 23
1:45 PM - 2:45 PM
Elmwood Park | May 24
1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

Join elementary students from Blodgett, Elmwood, and Roberts as they celebrate this year’s Nature in the City capstone concert with Billy B, the “Natural Science Song and Dance Man.” Nature in the City and Onondaga County's Save the Rain program have partnered this year to bring educational programs about green infrastructure to classrooms throughout the Syracuse City School District. The general public is invited to attend these free concerts, but are asked to allow students to be seated first. In addition, the concert is “shine” only for the public: indoor “rain” performance is for students only. Contact Katie at for more information!

May 4, 2011

Save the Rain Upcoming Events and Workshops

As part of Onondaga County's effort to help clean the lake, the "Save the Rain" campaign is hosting a number of educational events and workshops about green infrastructure and how you can use it to help reduce stormwater runoff. For more information on any of these events, or to learn more about Save the Rain, visit

How To Go Green in the ‘Cuse with Green Infrastructure
Dunbar Center, 1453 South State St. | May 13
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Hosted by the Dunbar Seniors, this free workshop will explain how green landscaping and building techniques benefit local neighborhoods and waterways. Presentations will explore several local uses of green infrastructure, and there will be a tour of the practices used at the Dunbar Center. The workshop will include complimentary lunch for participants who RSVP by May 11th. For more information or to RSVP, contact Amy Samuels at 443-1757 or

Rain Barrel Workshop at the Garden Fest at Kwanzaa Village Garden
900 Block, Midland Avenue | May 14
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM

To kick off this years' growing season, this event will feature information on how to live sustainably within your environment. Save the Rain will be at the event to train residents on how to install and use a rain barrel, and will give a free rain barrel to residents of the City of Syracuse. For more information, contact Amy at or 443-1757.

How To Go Green in the ‘Cuse with Green Infrastructure
Westcott Community Center, 826 Euclid Ave | May 21
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

This workshop will feature an overview of green landscaping and building techniques, teaching
participants about rain gardens, green roofs, porous pavement, and rain barrels. At the end, participants can lend a hand sprucing up the Community Center’s rain garden - bring a pair of work gloves if you have them! The program will include lunch for those who RSVP by May 18th. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Amy at or 443-1757.

Rain Barrel Workshops at 2011 Westcott Art Trail
Westcott Community Center, 826 Euclid Ave | June 4 & 5
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM, every hour on the hour on Saturday
12:00 PM - 3:00 PM, every hour on the hour on Sunday

Onondaga Environmental Institute will offer rain barrel workshops at the Westcott Community Center during the 2011 Westcott Art Trail. City residents who attend a workshop are eligible to receive a free rain barrel. Workshops last about 30 minutes and focus on proper use, maintenance and installation. In keeping with the spirit of the Art Trail, participants will also have the opportunity to personalize their barrel with an assortment of paints and stencils. Barrels painted by local artists will also be raffled. Please note: to receive a rain barrel, participants will need to fill out a form and renters must have the form signed by their landlord. For more information, contact Amy Samuels at 443-1757 or

Light a Candle for Literacy Festival

Danforth Elementary School | June 4
1:00 - 3:00 PM
Save the Rain will participate in this event with kids’ activities and educational fun for the family about green infrastructure and how to help clean the lake! A parade (featuring Ronnie the Raindrop!) will take place at 12PM before the event, taking place between the corner of Colvin and S. Salina to Danforth. For more information, contact Khris Dodson at

Art on Porches Rain Barrel Event
Ruskin Avenue | June 18
11:00 AM to 5:00 PM

During the “Art on Porches” event in Strathmore, Save the Rain will offer rain barrel workshops throughout the day, and give away rain barrels to Syracuse city residents. For more information, contact Amy Samuels at

May 3, 2011

3-mile line of debris along Onondaga Lake 4-28-2011

The recent rains have led to a large amount of trash and debris along the shore of Onondaga Lake. Currently, the park's maintenance crew are cleaning as efficiently as they can, but as the rain keeps coming, they are struggling to keep up. The lake and its parks are enjoyed by many, but maintained by few. If we can all pitch in a little bit, picking up a few pieces of trash here and there, Onondaga Lake and the park will be a much more enjoyable place for everyone. And for those of you who can take the time contribute to the beautification of Onondaga Lake, I promise you that your relationship with the Lake will only get stronger.

The idea of "many hands make light work" can be applied to all aspects of lake revival. Onondaga County's Save the Rain program has adopted this motto when attacking the storm water capture problems; if every person/property can capture a little bit of water it can greatly reduce the amount that makes it into the system.

There are plenty of ways that individuals can take action and help clean up Onondaga Lake and help revive our communities relationship with the lake. Picking up trash and reducing storm water are just two of them. Sometimes the amount of cleanup necessary can be daunting, but if we do what we as individuals can, and chip away at it slowly, the rest will come.