‘Flow in the St. Joe’ to give history of river, its watershed

NILES — Did you know that St. Joseph River watershed drains 4,685 square miles from 15 different counties in Michigan and Indiana?

Area residents will soon have an opportunity to discover more about the importance of watersheds during a Flow in the St. Joe program from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Matt Meersman and Kris Martin will present the program. The objective is to give those who attend an overview of the St. Joseph River watershed and address historic and current threats to the river’s health.

Matt Meersman developed a strong connection to water while growing up near the St. Joseph River and spending summer weekends at his family’s lake cottage in southern Michigan. He now lives along the river in South Bend and works as the director of the St. Joseph River Basin Commission. He also served as the president of the Friends of the St. Joe River Association for more than 10 years.

Co-presenter Kris Martin is an associate planner at the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission where he works on environmental and transportation projects, along with watershed projects by providing outreach and education. Together, he and Meersman will highlight actions that individuals and local governments can take to protect and improve our waterways.

“Flow in the St. Joe” is presented in conjunction with Smithsonian Water/Ways exhibit, on display at the Niles District Library until Feb. 16. Water/Ways explores the essential role that water plays in our environment and society. Throughout the globe, water holds extensive cultural value as a symbol of power and force, grace and fluidity, and healing and cleansing. Water is a resource that has dictated migration patterns, affected economic prosperity, and shaped communities throughout time, and continues to be one of Earth’s most defining resources.

Water/Ways is made possible in Michigan by the Michigan Humanities Council. Water/Ways is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and state humanities councils across the country. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

The Niles District Library is building a community of lifelong learners that want to make Niles their lifelong home. Participants do not need a library card to take part in any programs and all programs are free.  For more information, call (269) 683-8545, emailmarketing@nileslibrary.net, check us out on Facebook (Niles District Library) and Twitter (@TheNDLib), or visit our website, nileslibrary.com.

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