UpStream Newsletter, May 2017

Stroud Water Research Center

Published in UpStream Newsletter, Vol. 2017, Issue 2, May2017
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Bern Sweeney with architecture students

Sweeney describes how the two wetland cells behind the Moorhead Environmental Complex are part of a wastewater treatment system designed to mimic Mother Nature’s water cycle. Photo: Sally Willig

Clean by Design

Earlier this month, 38 Master of Landscape Architecture students from the University of Pennsylvania visited Stroud Water Research Center to learn about protecting clean fresh water through land use and best management practices (BMPs). Distinguished Research Scientist and President Bern Sweeney, Ph.D., led the program.

As a living laboratory and teaching tool, the Stroud Center puts knowledge gained about how to protect and restore healthy streams and rivers into action. When the Stroud Center installs new BMPs, such as conservation swales or level-lip spreaders, for example, researchers and educators monitor the changes to the surrounding watershed and share what they learn with the public.

Visitors to the Stroud Center come from a variety of backgrounds. Many are students and teachers, like the UPenn Master of Landscape Architecture group. Others are environmental professionals, policymakers, and citizen scientists.

School and community groups interested in touring the Stroud Center’s LEED Platinum Moorhead Environmental Complex, should contact Jessica Provinski at or 610-268-2153, ext. 288. Groups interested in environmental education programs, should contact Tara Muenz at or 610-268-2153, ext. 301.

Bern Sweeney explains level-lip spreaders

Standing near one of the Stroud Center’s level-lip spreaders, Bern Sweeney, Ph.D., explains how the spreader captures water, nutrients, and sediment that run off the cornfield when it rains, allowing the water to slowly infiltrate into the soil so that soil microbes can process the nutrients. This, in turn, prevents downstream pollution and flooding.

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