Photo by Theo Tate
A green flag hangs on the left side of the downtown branch of the Six Mile Library District at 2001 Delmar Ave. The flag is part of the Greener Cleaner Granite City Air Quality Flag and Ozone Garden introduced April 1.
GRANITE CITY — Linda Aud made another visit Sept. 20 to the downtown branch of the Six Mile Library District.
Aud, leader of the Greener Cleaner Granite City Air Quality Flag and Ozone Garden Program, said she was happy the flag hanging on the left side of the building at 2001 Delmar Ave. is still green.
“It’s not red, so that’s good,” she said.
On April 1, program organizers had a ceremony at the library. Aud made a one-hour presentation in the library’s conference room.
Also that day, Tallin Curran, the library’s IT and facilities manager, raised a green flag on the building’s left side as part of the program. Green indicates air quality is good.
There are two parts to the project — an ozone garden at the Granite City Fire Station on Rock Road and a citizen monitoring network using EPA’s air quality index and air quality flag program. The ozone garden was planted more than a year ago and it’s available for visitors.
“It’s been a very busy project because there are so many different parts of it,” she said. “But I feel that we had wonderful partners who have joined in and helped. We just have been able to reach out to many people. We have our ozone garden planting and cleanup days and we had Boy Scouts, Eagle Scouts, SIUE students, SOAR and union members.”
The air quality program offers educational programming and science activities that highlight ways to improve air quality and health. Aud said the program has been successful after five months.
“It’s been a good service to the community,” Aud said. “I found out that so many people were so unaware before the presentations and before the project. We had some people whom during presentations really asked questions and really talked and we could have been there two or three hours with the responses that we were given.”
The program received a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, with Saint Louis University, Granite City Community Gardens and Granite City Cool Cities among the organizations that helped with the grant proposal. The Six Mile Regional Library District, University of Illinois, Granite City Community Gardens, Granite City School District and Madison County Partnership for Community Health also contributed to the program.
“We just feel honored that we were able to be part of it,” Six Mile executive director Tina Hubert said.
The library district has an online Clean Air Repository program that provides information to educate residents about the hazards of pollutants created by nearby industries.
Aud, a local resident and member of both the United Congregations of Metro East and Granite City Cool Cities Committee, said she has made 10 presentations about the program since April. She also visited the Madison County Housing Authority, Gateway Regional Medical Center and the Granite City Business Foundry, among others.
Hubert said a library custodian is responsible for taking care of the flag daily.
“He looks to see what the website says as far as air quality,” Hubert said. “By 10 in the morning, we have it changed if it needs to be changed.”
More information at smrld.org