EAST ALTON – For the first time in more than a year, the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center will welcome visitors, giving the public the option of attending June Neighbor Nights in person or virtually.

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For this hybrid Neighbor Nights event, NGRRECsm is teaming up with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) as part of the From the Ground Up: Increasing Water Security through Public Awareness, Knowledge and Professional Development grant to educate the public about best management practices for prevention, identification and mitigation of water quality issues as they relate to pollution runoff from within the watershed.

NGRREC Watershed Scientist Dr. John Sloan will discuss how soil management and tillage practices impact water resources and how people can continue to produce food, fiber and energy using sustainable and resilient practices.

“The water in our streams, rivers and lakes originated as rainfall, and when it fell from the sky, it first came into contact with the soil,” Sloan said. “There is a very strong connection between water quality and how we manage our soils – especially in cultivated fields which account for most of the land surface in a typical watershed.”

A live rainfall simulation will demonstrate how soil management practices affect the movement of rainfall into and over the soil surface.

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Neighbor Nights will be held on Tuesday, June 15, at NGRREC, One Confluence Way, East Alton. Doors will open at 6 p.m., giving those who attend in person the opportunity to tour the facility prior to Sloan’s presentation, which will begin at 7 p.m.

Those attending in person must adhere to masking and social distancing requirements. Seating is available for 48 people, which will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

Virtual attendees can register at https://conta.cc/2RYUcvl. Zoom information will be emailed the day of the event.

For more information, contact Director of Environmental Education Sarah Fisher at saafisher@lc.edu.

Founded in 2002 as a collaborative partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Lewis and Clark Community College, the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center is dedicated to the study of great river systems and the communities that use them. The center aspires to be a leader in scholarly research, education, and outreach related to the interconnectedness of large rivers, their floodplains, watersheds and their associated communities.

To learn more about NGRREC, visit http://www.ngrrec.org.

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