Information Design Class Goes Green

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Clean Rain in the DrainThe mayor of Lake Forest Park (LFP) recently issued a proclamation acknowledging the contribution of HCDE students to LFP’s environmental outreach efforts. These are the students in the evening Master’s program who were enrolled during winter quarter in Professor Dave Farkas’ course Information Design (TC 510). In part because of Environmental Protection Agency regulations, LFP needed a wide range of educational documents to explain and promote good environmental practices, in particular preventing pollution from stormwater runoff.

As it happens, Farkas is a member of the LFP Environmental Quality Commission, and he volunteered his class when the city was wrestling with the problem of acquiring the needed material. The students produced booklets, brochures, posters, engineering fact sheets, web pages for the LFP website, self-running PowerPoint presentations, and more. Sammy the Salmon and Artie the Raindrop show up in activity booklets for K–6 students.

Within weeks of receiving the completed documents, the City of Lake Forest Park distributed some of the materials at its Earth Smart Fair in the Towne Centre, with up to 800 in attendance. According to the city’s website, “The materials were amazingly helpful and will be used in future events to promote stormwater quality awareness.” Many of the documents are available for download from the site. In addition, LFP is now distributing brochures to local businesses and will soon be working with science teachers in the LFP schools. Because the students submitted source files as well as ready-to-print PDF files, the documents can be readily updated and shared with other communities.