The Clermont Soil and Water Conservation District and the Valley View Foundation are once again working with local partners to plan this year’s Litter Clean-Up event. The 2021 event will be a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) litter clean-up with activities scheduled for the month of June. Volunteers can practice social distancing to help spruce up areas in their communities while enjoying the outdoors. There are many opportunities and areas throughout the county for volunteers to help by clearing trash and unsightly debris from our parks, waterways and other shared open spaces.
Depending on how the next few months unfold, a few small group, in-person activities may be coordinated for the 2021 event. Community coordinators will provide details on those activities later in the spring. Volunteer safety is the top priority. Whether or not the event is DIY or centered around small groups, all volunteers can be provided with clean-up materials for their activities, including protective gloves, trash bags and litter grabbers. Individuals that request litter clean-up materials will be sent details for supply pick-up in their communities.
We appreciate the support of our partner agencies, including the Ohio EPA, Clermont County Office of Environmental Quality, the Clermont County Park District, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and OSU Extension. Most importantly, thank you to the volunteers and communities that come back year after year to protect our local natural resources! Please visit the SLC website for more information and to register: www.springlittercleanup.com. Don’t forget to send us some pics and info on your efforts and we’ll post on the event website!
There are many great reasons to plant native plants. Native plants are the backbone of our local ecosystems and provide an array of services for the wildlife and humans that share the same space.
Native plants require less maintenance than exotic landscaping species and turf lawn as they are adapted to survive to the seasonal changes of Ohio. This means that you will spend less time watering during the summer drought and you won’t have to protect them through the winter. Native plants also help with storm water management as they have deeper root systems to help storm water get into the ground faster. This will help to prevent puddling and flooding around your yard.
Native plants also provide vital habitat for wildlife. Many species of butterflies and birds are dependent on very specific native plant species to survive. Other pollinators like hummingbirds, moths, and bats also rely on native plants for food. Native plants also produce seeds, fruits, and nuts that many species rely on to get through the cold winter months. If you would like to attract more birds and wildlife to your yard, planting native plants is one of the best actions you can take.
by Ben Robinson, ODNR State Service Forester
Southern Ohioans own forest land for many reasons, and their level of involvement in the management of that land varies widely. In a survey conducted by SFFI (Sustaining Family Forests Initiative), Ohioans with 10+ acres of woodlands cited several reasons for owning their forest by level of importance. Of the 12 reasons they own their woods, “timber” fell second-to-last in importance – ranked behind other reasons such as wildlife, aesthetics, recreation and investment. However, 20% of landowners reported cutting trees for sale in the past 5 years, and 21% said they were likely to do so in the next 5 years. Whether harvesting timber is at the top or at the bottom of your priority list, I recommend that you seek advice from professional foresters when making forest management decisions. Foresters are trained in the art and science of growing trees, which is referred to as “silviculture”.
The first step to making wise forest management decisions is to identify your objectives as the landowner. Every stand of timber is not ready for a timber harvest – based on your objectives and the condition of the forest, a professional forester will be able to advise if the time is right for a timber sale, or if it’s wise to wait for a few years. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources – Division of Forestry has 22 state service foresters, such as myself, who are a free resource to consult when considering a timber harvest. As employees of the State, we do not sell, value or estimate the volume of your standing timber. Instead, we are a free resource to help address your timber sale questions and make site visits to advise on whether or not a timber harvest is the right management tool for your situation.
Whether you are ready to harvest timber or just beginning to think about forest management in your woodlands, there is a professional forester out there in Ohio that is ready to help you navigate those decisions. If you’re considering a timber harvest, or have general forestry questions, feel free to give me a call or send an email, and I’d be happy to chat with you about management of your woodland.
Ben Robinson, State Service Forester