November 9, 2017

Guidebook available on detention basins

In 1990, Clermont County established storm water management regulations to help manage storm water in an urbanizing county. With more businesses, houses and roads, there is less open ground to absorb the rain that falls. Most new developments are required to have storm water runoff controls, such as detention basins, to help manage the extra runoff. In most cases, the responsibility to maintain and repair detention basins falls on the owner of the property, or possibly a homeowners’ association.

To help owners understand the tasks involved, Clermont SWCD recently published a resource guide titled “Maintaining Your Detention Basin: A Guidebook for Private Owners in Clermont County.”

A detention basin is a low-lying area designed to temporarily capture and hold storm water runoff during periods of heavy rain. After the rain ceases, the basin slowly releases the water over a period of one or two days to minimize flooding and stream bank erosion problems downstream.  Basins also help remove sediments from storm water runoff, which improves the quality of local streams.

The guidebook will help answer questions and provide owners with detailed instructions for basin maintenance activities.  The booklet includes information on the components of a detention basin, recommended maintenance activities and inspection schedules, vegetation management, mosquito control and more.

Routine maintenance will help prolong the life of the detention basin, help prevent flooding and property damage, and protect local streams and lakes. Routine maintenance will also help minimize the necessity for more costly repairs.

Click here to download a copy of the “Maintaining Your Detention Basin” guidebook, or call the Clermont Soil & Water Conservation District at 513.732.7075.

September 18, 2017

Clermont SWCD Collecting Milkweed Seed for Monarchs

Once again, to help create habitat for the monarch butterfly, Clermont SWCD is collecting milkweed seed pods at our offices in the county fairgrounds (1000 Locust Street in Owensville) from September 1 through October 31.

Milkweed is essential to the survival of monarch butterflies (it is their only food source!), and Ohio is a priority area for monarchs. The monarch butterflies that hatch here in the summer migrate to Mexico for the winter and are responsible for starting the life cycle all over again in the spring. During September and October, everyone is encouraged to collect milkweed pods from established plants and bring them to our office.

To collect the seed pods from a milkweed plant, it is best to pick them when they are dry, gray, or brown in color (see photo). If the center seam pops with gentle pressure, they can be picked. It is best to collect pods into paper bags or paper grocery sacks. Avoid using plastic bags because they attract moisture. Store seeds in a cool, dry area until you can deliver it to our office. Harvesting pods from milkweed plants does not have any effect on the population of milkweed in established areas. It is recommended that you wear disposable gloves when picking and handling pods.

All milkweed pods collected during this time will be given to our partners at the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative to establish new plantings and create additional habitat for the monarch butterfly throughout Ohio.

If you have any questions about this program, you can contact Judy Krebs, Clermont SWCD Education Specialist at (513) 732-7075 x5 or at jkrebs@clermontcountyohio.gov.

Posted in: Pollinators
August 3, 2017

Stocking Cool Water Fish

Stocking cool water fish such as trout, perch, or walleye can bring added enjoyment to your fishing lake. Typically these fish are stocked in deep spring fed ponds in our region of Ohio. Cool water fish require more oxygen than the traditional stocked pond fish, so aeration is highly recommended.

Landowners with smaller, warmer lakes can also stock these fish on a seasonal basis. They are typically stocked in the fall and are fished until early spring when the water begins to warm again. At this point the fish will typically die. Cool water fish stocked in this manner are typically “pan ready”, meaning they are harvestable sizes when stocked. If you are looking for a fun option to put food on the table, this may be worthwhile.

Speak with a certified fish hatchery to determine if your pond will meet your expectations of a cool water fishery. Order early in the season to guarantee shipment for when you plan to stock. If you are planning a family or community fishing party/tournament, this could add to the excitement of your event.

Posted in: pond
August 3, 2017

Natural Resources Day a Success

Fair goers were given the opportunity to meet (and play) with representatives from the Clermont SWCD along with ODNR Division of Wildlife and Parks, Brown County Beekeepers, National Wild Turkey Federation, Clermont County Parks, Ohio Trappers, and USDA-APHIS-Asian Longhorn Beetle experts during the Natural Resources Day held at the Clermont County Fair. Archery, BB-guns, reptiles, and other exhibits were on display along with our own stream table (see photo on right) and paper recycling station for people to interact with.

Thanks to everybody who stopped in and made it our largest event to date!

Posted in: Uncategorized
August 3, 2017

Forestry Management Open House

Clermont SWCD, along with representatives from ODNR-Forestry, OSU Extension, and USDA are planning an open house to answer questions regarding private timber harvesting operations.

With the loss of ash trees across the region, many landowners are faced with difficult decisions on what to do with their properties. This opportunity will allow landowners to gain knowledge and meet forestry experts that can assess their situation and provide guidance on how to successfully manage their properties. There will also be opportunities to speak with an urban forester on those properties with just a few or no trees.

Please stop by our office on October 25th between the hours of 3-7 pm. Obtain maps, learn about funding for timber management and invasive control (sorry-still no ash tree removal funding), and threats and opportunities that could affect your forest.

Posted in: conservation, forestry
August 3, 2017

Fertilizer Regulations Going into Effect Sept. 30

In June, 2014, Governor Kasich signed the agricultural fertilizer applicator certification law (Senate Bill 150), requiring farmers who fertilize 50 acres or more to become certified by September 30, 2017.  Under the certification law, fertilizer is considered to be any substance containing nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, or other plant nutrient in a dry or liquid formulation.  Lime and limestone are not considered fertilizers.

Note: The Clermont OSU Extension Office is Offering Fertilizer Certification Training on August 31

All application types (broadcast, side dress, sub-surface, knifing, etc.) are included in the certification requirement. The only application exempted is start-up fertilizers applied through a planter.  All certifications will be valid for three years. After the deadline, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) will conduct random record audits.

Algae, especially hazardous algae blooms, across the state was the main reason for this law to be enacted. Aquatic habitat health, recreational value and drinking water are inhibited by high nutrient amounts in our waters. This is a problem that affects everyone within the watershed where these issues occur.

Nutrient problems are not just related to agriculture, we affect water quality at the household also. Anything we apply to the landscape can be washed into our streams when not done properly. Nutrients from landscaping activities, failing septic systems, and erosion all can contribute to water quality degradation and lead to algae blooms in our water bodies. Remember, things that enter a stream are natural only if we don’t put them there (leaves for example). Below is a list of a few things that can be done to improve our water nutrient problems.

Landowner                                                                                        

  • Apply lawn and garden phosphorus according to soil test recommendations
  • Don’t dispose of leaves or grass clippings in drainage ditches or storm water basins
  • Create buffer strips along ponds, rivers, streams
  • Clean up pet waste and dispose of properly
  • Inspect and maintain home septic systems

Agriculture

  • Apply fertilizer to crop fields according to soil test results and applied manure
  • Prevent runoff of fertilizers by incorporating them into the soil and preventing manure runoff into streams
  • Buffer strips/setbacks along ponds, rivers and streams
  • Prevent erosion by incorporating conservation practices such as cover crops and crop residue management
Posted in: Uncategorized
August 3, 2017

Great East Fork River Canoe Adventure

Come join us on September 23 for a naturalist guided canoe adventure down the East Fork of the Little Miami River to search for beaver, wood ducks, turtles, and other aquatic wildlife. We’ll make a brief stop on the Wilson Nature Preserve island before ending at Sycamore Park. After the trip, grab a kick net and help us collect aquatic insects to determine the quality of the water in the river. Participants will be given a brief safety demonstration before entering the water.

Saturday September 23, 2017

2 time slots for canoe trips:

9:00-11:00 am      or      11:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Meet at Sycamore Park

*Preregistration is required. Call 513-732-7075 x-102 to register before September 23rd, spots limited.

Participants must sign a waiver prior to the program. (No children under the age of 4 in the canoes please).

 

Canoe Adventure program is co-hosted by the Clermont Soil and Water Conservation District, the Clermont County Park District and the Clermont County Office of Environmental Quality. The program is part of the Great Outdoor Weekend. Visit this website to learn more about Great Outdoor Weekend 2017.

Posted in: Uncategorized
August 3, 2017

“Hall-of-Famer” to Lead Grazing School on October 18

Clermont SWCD, NRCS and OSU Extension are partnering with a conservationist hall-of-famer to host a pasture class on the evening of Wednesday, October 18th, from 6 to 9 pm at the Hatfield Farm, 1275 Caldwell Road in Bethel.
Bob Hendershot, retired NRCS Grazing Specialist and member of the Ohio State Conservationist Hall of Fame, will discuss growing and managing summer annuals and cover crops for forage, hay testing, new perennial forage varieties, interseeding forages for improved performance, and temporary fencing materials for rotational grazing efficiency. OSU Extension and NRCS personnel will review soil testing and funding programs available for improving pasture operations.
Food and drink will be provided by the Clermont County Farm Bureau.  There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. Please call our office at 513-732-7075 x2 to register.

A follow-up

event will be on Saturday November 4th at Greenacres Foundation in eastern Hamilton County. We’ll be looking at some exciting new research at Greenacres Foundation with effects of grassland management on meat quality, viewing Temple Grandin’s designed cattle handling facility, and multi-species grazing.  The information for this event is still being finalized.

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.