November 28, 2016

Annual Meeting Celebrates 73 Years of Conservation

Over 100 friends of conservation turned out at Pattison Park on Sep­tember 8th for the 73rd Annual Meet­ing of the Clermont Soil & Water Conservation District. The evening got underway with the election of one board supervisor and a tasty meal catered by Clermont Northeastern High School Food Ser­vices.

At the meeting several conserva­tion partners were recognized for the 2015-2016 achievements in the conservation field including Wolfer Farms of Jackson Township who were honored as the District’s Con­servation Cooperator of the Year.

Lisa Holt Taylor of Boyd E. Smith Elementary in Milford was awarded the District’s Outstanding Conserva­tion Teacher of the Year award. Lisa has worked for Milford Schools for 14 years where literacy was highly stressed in the curriculum. She began incorporating science in her litera­cy work so her students did not get cheated in this area.

In the 2015-2016 school year, Lisa worked with Clermont SWCD as she had her students design their own wa­tersheds and taught them the basics of monitoring stream quality (among many other environmental topics). She was also the lead teacher for seventy 3rdgraders in a five session project investigating the school yard’s habitat in conjunction with the Cincinnati Nature Center.

Award recipients were also recognized by the Clermont County Commissioners and the Ohio Congress with proclamations recognizing their accomplishments and dedication to promoting good land stewardship.

Guest speaker Ty Higgins of Farm and County radio show entertained guests with exploits of growing up on a farm and reported on the corn crop yields expected throughout the corn belt for this season.

The meeting concluded with some wonderful door prizes. The district would like to extend a special thank-you to all those individuals and businesses who donated funds or door prizes to help make the 2016 conservation banquet a great success.

Posted in: conservation
November 23, 2016

Asian Longhorned Beetle Found in Williamsburg Township

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Nov. 18, 2016) – The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) today announce the discovery of Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) infested trees in a section of the East Fork Wildlife Area in Clermont County.

The center of the newly discovered infestation is within the Williamsburg Township portion of the East Fork Wildlife Area, south of Clover Road. Tree inspection crews will continue to survey the area and surrounding areas to determine the extent of the infestation. Using ground surveyors and specially trained tree climbers, crews will inspect host tree species susceptible to ALB for signs of the wood-boring beetle. Any trees found to be infested will be removed as part of the eradication effort.

Once the extent of the infestation is evaluated, ODA will move to expand the ALB quarantine to include additional areas near the new infestation. When available, a map of the regulated areas will be posted at agri.ohio.gov.

“With more than $2.5 billion in standing maple timber and a $5 billion dollar nursery industry that employs nearly 240,000 people, it is vital we do all we can to keep this tree-killing pest from spreading across Ohio,” said David Daniels, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. “We appreciate the patience and understanding of local communities as we continue to work with our partners in this eradication effort.”

East Fork Wildlife Area consists of 2,705 acres that are managed by the ODNR Division of Wildlife for public hunting and fishing in southwestern Ohio. It is unlawful for any person to remove wood from a wildlife area without first obtaining approval.

The beetle was first discovered in Tate Township in Clermont County in June 2011. Currently, 61-square miles are regulated, which include all of Tate Township and East Fork State Park, a portion of Monroe Township and a portion of Stonelick and Batavia townships.

Adult ALBs are large, shiny black insects measuring 1 to 1 ½ inches long, not including antennae, with random white spots. Their white-banded antennae can be as long as the body itself on females and almost twice the body length on males.

Signs of infestation include perfectly round exit holes (about 3/8 to 1/2 inch in diameter) made by adult beetles when they emerge from trees; the pockmarks on tree trunks and branches where female beetles deposit eggs; frass (wood shavings and saw dust) produced by larvae feeding and tunneling; early fall coloration of leaves or dead branches; and running sap produced by the tree at the egg laying sites or in response to larval tunneling. The beetle will infest various common trees in Ohio, including all species of maple, buckeye, willow and elm.

To report signs or symptoms of ALB, call the Ohio ALB Eradication Program Office at 513-381-7180 or report online at www.asianlonghornedbeetle.com.

Posted in: ALB
November 23, 2016

Newman re-elected to SWCD Board of Supervisors

In the election held September 8th, Melody Newman was re-elected to the Soil and Water Conservation District’s Board of Supervisors. Melody had been a teacher at Clermont Northeastern for 35 years where she taught fifth grade Science and Language Arts before retiring in 2013.

Melody received her bachelor’s degree from Morehead State University and her masters from Northern Kentucky University. She has lived her entire life in Clermont County and currently resides near Stonelick Lake.

Melody will be sworn in by county officials as she begins her third term on January 1, 2017. Congratulations to Melody and thank you for serving your conservation district and county

November 23, 2016

International Delegation Visits Clermont SWCD

In October, a delegation with the China Ministry of Agriculture visited the Clermont SWCD office on their tour of American agriculture. The delegation was deeply interested in programs that are available to farmers and mapping soils, including soil health.  The delegation visited with staff from our office and Lori Lenhart with the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

November 23, 2016

Clermont County to Host New and Small Farm College

Are you interested in learning how to make the most of a few acres? If so, the OSU Extension Clermont office is hosting an eight week course just for you. Topics include: Getting Started, Sources of Information, Legal/Insurance, Financial/records, Marketing and more.

Weekly classes will be held on Thursday evenings in the 4-H Hall on the Clermont County Fairgrounds between January 12 and March 2. The cost to register is $150 for the first person from a farm and $100 for each additional person. This includes dinner, drinks and dessert each night, along with a materials binder and one soil sample evaluation.

To register or for more information, contact Gigi Neal at neal.331@osu.edu or 513-732-7070.

November 23, 2016

Duke Energy, Clermont SWCD Partner on a Beautiful Solution to Storm Water Pollution

Recently, Duke Energy and the Clermont Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) partnered with a homeowners’ association in a Union Township subdivision to combat runoff problems and beautify the neighborhood at the same time.

Under a $25,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation, Clermont SWCD worked with the Shayler Woods Homeowners Association (HOA) to install a 1000 square foot rain garden in a section of the subdivision where storm water did not receive any treatment before it reached a small creek. The garden will catch storm flows from two small drainage areas and allow it to soak into the ground over a day or two rather than running off into the creek. Along with reducing flow, the garden will help filter pollutants, including nutrients found in lawn fertilizers what can contribute to algae blooms.

Gene Benninger, the president of the Shayler Woods HOA, said “We are pleased that our community was chosen for this project. It has greatly enhanced the appearance of the landscape, and we look forward to Spring when everything will be blooming.”

Clermont SWCD offers guidance to any landowner in Clermont County, including homeowners associations, interested in creating their own rain garden.  Requests for assistance can be made by calling (513) 732-7075. or sending an email to ssteffensen@clermontcountyohio.gov.

November 23, 2016

Wolfer Farms Honored as District Cooperator of the Year

Wolfer Farms is located in Jackson Township and is operated by Eric and Tony Wolfer. Multiple conservation practices have been installed on land they farm, including cover crops, conservation crop rotation, nutrient management and others. Wolfer Farms received one of the first cover crop EQIP contracts in Clermont County in 2010.

Eric and Tony have lent their cover crop expertise to the district on several occasions. They offered up their farm to Miami University students to learn farming practices, while completing a project for Clermont Soil & Water. Their input was included in the “Cover Crops for Southwest Ohio” booklet that was published by the district and the newest edition has just been released in November. Eric also allowed Soil and Water to feature him in our “Cover Crop Farmers of Southwest Ohio” booklet, where he shared some of his successes and gave tips for farmers just starting out with cover crops.

More recently, Tony and Eric have allowed the district use of their farm on McCafferty Road to study the effectiveness of cover crops in reducing nutrient and sediment runoff. This is no small commitment. They have allowed us and the Office of Environmental Quality to install two very large monitoring flumes and associated monitoring equipment in two side by side ditches for a period of five years. Wolfer Farms has agreed to plant winter cover crops in one of the fields while leaving the other unplanted after crops are removed, allowing us to study the differences in runoff. Not only have they lent their land for this, they have helped with both the installation and repairs, which, after the heavy storms we’ve received, have been significant.

Posted in: cooperators
November 23, 2016

Thanks to Our 2016 Sponsors and Donors

Posted in: conservation
November 23, 2016

Clermont SWCD Thanks Its 2016 Cooperators

Thanks to all our Cooperators for all the Conservation Best Management Practices installed this Year!

Agri-chemical Handling Facility

Wolfer Farms

Brush Management

Bob Bolce

Charles Ernstes (4)

Jim Metzger

Jeremy Mount (2)

Don Smith (2)

Laura Weber (3)

Dan Welz

Arthur Williams (2)

Conservation Crop Rotation

Tony Panetta

Robert Stahl

Conservation Stewardship Program

Tina Bosworth

Dave Uible

Cover Crop Plantings:

Doug Auxier  (2)

Troy Baker

Robert Fee

Jason Grant

John Gray

Jeff Gunter

L & L Farm Holdings

Ted Hollender

Rob Hutchison

Tim Jarman

James Liming

Mark Liming

Brian Lung

Tony Panetta

Louie Rose

Richard Rosselot

Robert Stahl

Dan Tarvin

David Werring

Tim Werring

Tony Werring

Eugene Wiederhold

Wolfer Farms (2)

Critical Area Planting

David Morgan

Waltz Enterprises

Forest Stand Improvement

Jeremy Mount

Varick Trust (2)

Heavy Use Area Protection

Wolfer Farms

Herbaceous Weed Control

Joel Monteith (2)

Laura Weber

High Tunnel

Louise Gartner

Adam Mancino

Prescribed Grazing

Victor Riley

Dan Weber (2)

Tree/Shrub Establishment

Joel Monteith (2)

Jeremy Mount

Laura Weber

Arthur Williams

Upland Wildlife Habitat Management

Cincinnati Nature Center

November 17, 2016

Feeling Artsy? Help Us Design a Rain Barrel

All artists, including students and seasoned professionals, are invited to apply to be a part of the 5th annual Rain Barrel Art Project, an initiative designed to educate the community about water conservation and pollution caused by storm water runoff.

The Rain Barrel Art Project is a joint effort of Save Local Waters, its members (including Clermont SWCD) and the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. As part of this initiative, students and other community members throughout the Ohio River Valley are asked to submit artistic designs to beautify otherwise dull rain barrels that are then displayed at the Cincinnati Zoo and auctioned off to raise funds for conservation education.

Artists who wish to submit a design for consideration must do so by Jan. 20, 2017, through an online form at www.savelocalwaters.org where additional instructions can be found. Designs will be selected and announced at the end of January.

Artists whose designs are selected will be asked to attend an artist workshop on Feb. 11, 2017, to pick up their rain barrels and learn techniques for applying their design. Finished rain barrels must be returned between March 30 and April 1. They will remain on display at the Cincinnati Zoo until April 20, when they will be auctioned off to the highest bidder during the zoo’s Party for the Planet event.

For more information regarding the Rain Barrel Art Project or Save Local Waters, contact John Nelson at 513-772-7645 or visit www.savelocalwaters.org/2017-project.

Posted in: rain barrels