The Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds (LGROW) is an agency of the Grand Valley Metropolitan Council (GVMC), formed in 2008 to address regional water issues facing the Lower Grand River Watershed. A watershed is an area of land, defined by hills and ridges that drain to a common body of water. The Lower Grand River Watershed covers the lower portion of the Grand River that drains into Lake Michigan from Ionia County and is one third of the larger Grand River Watershed. The Grand River is the longest river in Michigan, spanning 252 miles, and was named O-wash-ta-nong, meaning Far-Away-Water, by Native Americans who lived there prior to settlement. The Lower Grand River watershed offers opportunities for recreation, like fishing and paddling, and provides vital habitat to plants and animals. Groundwater and surface water are connected within a watershed, and both supply our drinking water, agricultural irrigation, and manufacturing processes. Human activity can create various forms of pollution through stormwater and agricultural runoff, including runoff and erosion, which interfere with the health of the watershed.
The mission and vision of LGROW is to connect water with life and to understand, protect and improve the natural resources of the Lower Grand River Watershed for all to enjoy. LGROW does this by providing assistance, education, and resources to municipalities, businesses, residents, and schools through a variety of programs and projects. Our staff consists of a Director, Environmental Education Coordinator, Stormwater Programs Coordinator, GIS and Education Specialist, and an Environmental Programs Associate. LGROW programs and projects include the Grand River Rainscaping Program: Treating Stormwater Naturally, Adopt a Drain, Grand River Water Trail, LGROW Data Repository, Youth Education and more. LGROW works with numerous partner organizations, watershed groups, schools, Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) communities throughout the watershed and beyond on many efforts. Learn more at www.LGROW.org