Retired businessman and president, Storm Water Management BoardMerrillville, Indiana
Clean Water is Goal of Community’s Tree Program
Bud Crist's job is to make sure his community complies with the federal Clean Water Act. "We have to test the water as it comes into our community and make sure it leaves in the same condition," says Bud.
Merrillville's emphasis on and abundance of trees makes his job immensely easier. "They harvest the rainfall," he says. "Trees are the cheapest stormwater control feature around." The City of Merrillville puts out a newsletter on how trees help with stormwater management, and has made urban forestry a key component of its policies and priorities. The community has proactively planted new trees and is recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. Bud is also an example for his neighbors, with one stream running right through his 12 acres of oaks, hickories and cherries. The downstream affect cleans up Lake Michigan and also helps other communities comply with the Clean Water Act.