We had 30 members present and three guests.  Fred Schwimmer brought his wife Ellie and his niece, Rusty, an actress.  Gwen Trindle was a guest of Heather Higgins.
Bob Baker, our newly installed president, began the meeting by banging the bell and announcing he planned to start the meetings at 12:15 p.m. sharp.  Better be prompt!
This year the Club will again participate in the Community House’s “Last Blast of Summer Block Party” on August 23.  We will once again be running the liquid refreshment stand.  More about opportunities to volunteer in this fun and worthy cause will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.
Patti Van Cleave told the club of the Township Pantry’s dire need for personal hygiene items, such as shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and toothbrushes, dental floss and similar items.  There will be a box at our next meeting to put your donations in or you can take them directly to the Township office on Elm Street.
President Bob announced that he would be holding a ‘cocktail party’ for the Club at his house, likely in late August or September - more information will come later.
During ‘Happy Bucks’ Robert Mardirossian contributed $14 in thankfulness for his 14 years of perfect attendance.  Robert received a resounding round of applause for his shinning example.
The speaker for the meeting was Krista Grimm from the League of Women Voters who spoke about the increasing concern for the problems causes by storm water runoff.  She is a water issue specialist for the LWV of Illinois and the Lake Michigan Region Education Fund.  Krista said that for the first time there is a specific plan for the Illinois Coastal Zone.  She said that we are experiencing more frequent and intense rainstorms, which are attributed to climate change.  This is causing problems for all zip codes in the general area, not just those containing flood plains.  Many of the problems are a result of the significant loss (90%) of wetlands, which slow down the runoff to lakes and rivers.  The wetlands also do a great job of filtering the water.  In urban areas at least 55% of the rainfall is runoff, compared to 10% in wetlands.
The problem in urban areas is twofold.  First, the grey infrastructure that man has installed such as sewers, filters, etc. is aging and was built to handle 2” of rain in 24 hours.  The other problem is that many areas have a combined storm water and wastewater sewer system.  When the system is overloaded the storm water and raw sewage gets dumped into freshwater bodies and this is occurring with greater frequency.
Krista made several suggestions to how individuals can help.  She suggested that we not wash dishes or clothes or take showers during rainstorms as that increases the burden on the system.  Add more native plants to your garden - they have longer roots, will slow down runoff and hold more water.  Create a bioswale on your property – they are designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water.  Plant more trees as they catch 10–15% of the water.  If you are installing a new driveway consider the new permeable asphalt.  You can also try a green roof, but I don’t think algae on the shady side counts!