June 5, 2017

2017 Ohio River Sweep

On Saturday, June 17th thousands of volunteers from Pittsburgh, PA to Cairo, IL will do their part to clean up the 3,000 miles of Ohio River shoreline.

In Clermont County volunteers can report to

Chilo Lock #34 Park (rough terrain – adults or teens only!), Meldahl Lock & Dam, Moscow Riverfront Park at 222 Second Street, Neville,  Indian Mound Campground or the riverfront Bandstand in New Richmond.

The event starts at 9:00 am and ends around noon.  Volunteers will be asked to sign a waiver and will receive free t-shirts, gloves and trash bags.  There will be refreshments available after the event, with most communities hosting a cookout.  The Ohio River Sweep will be held rain or shine but canceled if the weather is dangerous (lightning, etc.).

Participants are asked to wear old, comfortable clothes and closed toe shoes.  If you have questions please contact Becky Ploucha, Valley View Foundation, at ors.clermont@gmail.com or at 513-218-4094.

June 5, 2017

Call for SWCD Supervisor Candidates

Clermont SWCD is seeking candidates for its Board of Supervisors.  Two supervisors will be elected at the Annual Meeting which will be held on September 14.

Board Supervisors guide the district, its staff, and cooperating  agencies in efforts to implement conservation programs in the county that address management and conservation of soil, water and related resources. Board members should have a sincere interest in conservation and must have the enthusiasm, dedication and the time to serve as an elected official. This is a volunteer position, but supervisors can be reimbursed for mileage & expenses (registration, lodging, meals, etc.) related to events involving soil & water professionals.

What a potential supervisor needs to know:

* Candidate must be over 18 years old and a resident of Clermont County

* This is a volunteer position and runs in 3 year terms

* Board meetings are on the second Wednesday of the month at 8:00 AM and normally run 1 ½ to 2 hours.

* Attendance at occasional outside meetings, events or trainings is required

If you are interested in becoming a Board Supervisor for Clermont SWCD, please contact John McManus, District Administrator at jmcmanus@clermontcountyohio.gov or (513) 732-7075 Ext: 103.

June 5, 2017

Annual Meeting Slated for September 14th

Please save the date to help us celebrate another great year of conservation at our 74th Annual Meeting Banquet. This year’s event will be held at the Clermont County Park District’s Pattison Park just west of Owensville on State Route 50. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 6:30. Election polls will remain open until 7:00 – two board supervisors will be elected.  If you’re interested in serving as a District supervisor, please check this information, or call 513-732-7075 ext. 3

Additional Annual Banquet information will be posted soon. There may be penguins involved.

Posted in: Annual Banquet
June 5, 2017

Thank You to Our Plant Sale Customers!

Our April Conservation Plant Sale was a success again in 2017. We sold 1,933 seedlings and about 1,000 perennial plants. We had 342 assorted tree seedlings left over which we donated to Boy Scout Camp Friedlander here in Clermont County.

Our sale is focused on Ohio native species. Do you have any ideas for trees or perennials you would like to see at future sales? We love getting suggestions from our customers and residents; we also enjoy hearing stories about trees bought 20 or 30 years ago at our sale that are now huge and thriving! Email Susie at ssteffensen@clermontcountyohio.gov or call (513) 732-7075 Ext: 102 with your suggestions.

Thank you again to both our regular customers and those new to our sale. We plan on continuing to offer plant material for homes, gardens and reforestation for years to come. We won’t be mailing out the tree sale newsletter anymore except to those who request it… our newsletters are now electronic. Be sure to notify Susie if you would like to receive paper newsletters if you haven’t already done so.

June 5, 2017

Another Successful Year Fighting Dirty

The East Fork Watershed Collaborative and Valley View Foundation are pleased to report that the 2017 Spring Litter Clean-Up for Clermont County and the East Fork Little Miami River Watershed was a great success!  The event drew over 540 volunteers to clean up 14 sites and over 7 miles of riverbank and lake shoreline!  Volunteers collectively cleared nearly 3.5 tons of trash from our streams, lakes and parkland areas.

We truly appreciate the support from our event sponsors, including the Clermont County Visitors Bureau, Duke Energy Foundation, the Southern Ohio Association of Realtors, the Buckeye United Fly Fishers and Lykins Energy Solutions!

Thank you also to our partnering agencies and organizations, including the Clermont County Office of Environmental Quality, Clermont County Park District, Ohio State University Extension, Ohio     Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) – Division of Parks – Division of Watercraft, Clermont Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD), Highland SWCD, Harsha Lake U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, and the East Fork Watershed Collaborative.

We also want to salute our active communities and partners for their commitment to this event!   Village of Amelia  *  City of Milford * Village of Williamsburg  *  Village of Owensville  *  Village of Bethel  *  Pierce Township *  Milford Junior High School  *  Lynchburg Middle School  *  New Richmond  * Clermont Co. Juvenile Corrections *  Buckeye United Fly Fishers  *  Village of Felicity  *  Miami Township

June 5, 2017

83 High School Teams Compete in the 27th Area IV Envirothon

Over 450 students and teachers from 18 Southwest Ohio Counties descended on Fernald Nature Preserve in Northwest Hamilton County to compete in the 27th Area IV Envirothon. The contest scheduled was held April 25th, and is the first stop for some of these students in the national environmental competition. Four teams from this contest will progress to the State Level at the Ohio Envirothon, and then possibly on to the National Envirothon in Maryland. Clermont SWCD sent three teams from Clermont Northeastern High School and three teams from Felicity High School.

Students competed in the areas of Aquatics, Wildlife, Forestry, Soils and Current Environmental Issues. The tests were physically and mentally challenging, ranging from conducting tests in the soil to answering questions on paper. The questions were designed by experts in the fields, which included Soil Scientists from NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Services) and experts from the ODA (Ohio Department of Agriculture), and ODNR (Ohio Department of Natural Resources). This first level of the contest was jointly hosted by the Hamilton County and Butler Soil and Water Conservation Districts. The responsibility of hosting the Area IV Envirothon revolves among the 18 Southwest Ohio Counties.

Congratulations to the top four teams who progressed onto the State Envirothon Competition at Ohio Christian University June 12-13, 2017

Posted in: Envirothon
June 5, 2017

Natural Resources Day at the Fair

Join Clermont SWCD along with the Ohio Division of Wildlife, Ohio Division of Watercraft, Ohio Division of Parks, National Wild Turkey Federation, Clermont County parks, and others during the third Natural Resources Day which will be held at the Clermont County Fair.  Archery, BB-guns, reptiles, and other hands on exhibits will be on display.  The event will be held at the Lykins Pavilion on Tuesday, July 25th, 2017.  Meet with representatives from local conservation clubs, Ohio Trappers Association and local sportsmen clubs.  Representatives will be available to discuss natural resource related issues and how you can improve wildlife habitat on your property.

 

Photo right: Interactive stream table displayed by Clermont SWCD during last year’s event to demonstrate how streams function and the influence people have on them.

Posted in: conservation
June 5, 2017

Erosion Concerns? Try a Riparian Buffer

Are you having problems with stream bank erosion? Planting a streamside, or riparian, buffer, may help solve this. Check this article for tips on planting.

If you own property that borders a stream and have concerns with the banks eroding and/or water quality, there are some relatively simple measures that you can take to alleviate the problems.  Sometimes the impact is too great, and steps are needed to provide armoring or protection, but if the erosion is not too severe, riparian buffers may be the answer to your worries.

Property owners that mow or weed right to the stream are setting themselves up for erosion problems.  Turf grass has very shallow roots which do a poor job of holding soil in place.  As a result, there is very little under the ground holding the soil in place, and it can be more easily washed away during high stream flows.  When natural vegetation is allowed to grow along a stream’s banks, the benefits are amazing.  When trees, shrubs and native grasses become established along a stream, it is referred to as a riparian buffer.  These plants have deep root systems which do a very good job of holding soil in place.

Buffers also provide many other benefits.  They shade and cool to the stream, which helps promote a healthy and diverse fish community.  Buffers are very effective at filtering pollutants such as lawn fertilizers, animal waste, and pesticides.  They also provide wildlife corridors and habitat.

Clermont SWCD suggests a buffer width of 25 feet for small streams, and increasing the width as the drainage area and stream gets bigger.  However, any buffer width is better than none at all.  The greater the width, the more positive impacts there will be for the stream.  Some plant species that will work well in a stream buffer zone include sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), willows (Salix sp.), red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea), spicebush (Lindera benzoin), and grasses such as meadow sage (Salvia pratensis) and different varieties of rushes (Juncus sp.)

If you have any questions or would like any guidance in establishing your own riparian buffer, contact us at 513-732-7075, or by email at jhahn@clermontcountyohio.gov.

April 21, 2017

Ohio Now Accepting Applications for Declining Pollinator Populations

COLUMBUS, OH, April 18, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced a new conservation effort for Ohio agriculture producers to help combat future declines of honey bees and Monarch butterflies by providing food and habitat sources. Through May 19, producers may apply for funding through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to plant cover crops, or plant milkweed, wildflowers, and native grasses in buffers and areas not in production.

More than 80 percent of the world’s plants need pollinators to survive, including many that provide the food we eat. But many pollinators like honey bees and Monarch butterflies are in trouble. That’s why NRCS works with private landowners to create food and habitat for pollinators on farms and in forests. In total, more than 3 dozen NRCS conservation practices provide benefits to pollinators.

For more information regarding the Honey Bee EQIP sign-up in Clermont or Brown County, contact Lori Lenhart, NRCS District Conservationist, at lori.lenhart@oh.usda.gov, or (513) 732-2181 ext. 3.

April 21, 2017

Ohio Now Accepting Applications for Declining Pollinator Populations

COLUMBUS, OH, April 18, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced a new conservation effort for Ohio agriculture producers to help combat future declines of honey bees and Monarch butterflies by providing food and habitat sources. Through May 19, producers may apply for funding through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to plant cover crops, or plant milkweed, wildflowers, and native grasses in buffers and areas not in production.

More than 80 percent of the world’s plants need pollinators to survive, including many that provide the food we eat. But many pollinators like honey bees and Monarch butterflies are in trouble. That’s why NRCS works with private landowners to create food and habitat for pollinators on farms and in forests. In total, more than 3 dozen NRCS conservation practices provide benefits to pollinators.

For more information regarding the Honey Bee EQIP sign-up in Clermont or Brown County, contact Lori Lenhart, NRCS District Conservationist, at lori.lenhart@oh.usda.gov, or (513) 732-2181 ext. 3.