BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-Birmingham-Southern College
has received a $48,750 3M 2002 Vision Grant to create a Storm Water
Management and Restoration of Terrain Project (SMART) that it hopes
ultimately will assist with water problems for local Village Creek
BSC was on of 6 colleges nationwide to receive
one of the 3M grants.
SMART is an innovative environmental model
and will support BSC students as they learn more about water quality
issues by working on an on-campus storm water demonstration site,
which will include a demonstration storm water retention basin to
showcase erosion control techniques.
The SMART project will be located on a drainage
area for a large part of the BSC campus that ultimately spills into
Village Creek. The project will include the development of a series
of cascading ponds where pollutants can be trapped and in cases
The area will serve as an outdoor laboratory
for innovative courses for first-year students. One of the proposed
courses, "Science, Public Policy, and the Environment,"
will study an urban environmental problem concerning water quality
of Village Creek and provide the Village Creek Human and Environmental
Justice Society, a local citizens group, with data analysis and
According to Roald Hazelhoff, director of
Birmingham-Southern's Southern Environmental Center, SMART will
be a model for businesses, residences, public agencies, and other
"During the summer, BSC students will
work closely with chemistry faculty members to conduct water quality
tests, analyze data, and establish scientific parameters for first-year
environmental courses," explained Hazelhoff. "The Southern
Environmental Center will coordinate the creation of the demonstration
project and showcase the model project to thousands of schoolchildren
and other visitors to the Center's interactive museum and outdoor
Leading the classroom portion of the project will be BSC assistant
professors of chemistry, Dr. Laura Stultz and Dr. Scott Dorman.
Hazelhoff said that the college also will
work closely with the Village Creek residents to gain scientific
and social information and sponsor educational workshops.
Since the 3M Vision Grant program's inception
in 1987, more than $2.8 million has been awarded to 71 private colleges.
The grants encourage faculty and students to collaborate and develop
new ways of learning that connect to the community.