Registration Open for Fall Master Rain Gardener Course

Registration is now open for Fall 2022 Master Rain Gardener Course. This is a 5-day course that takes place over six weeks. During the course, students are guided through the rain garden design and installation process by experienced regional professionals. At graduation, students will have created a beautiful rain garden and will be ready to educate their neighbors.

Course Details

9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

August 5, 12, 19, 26 and September 9

$50 registration fee

Location: Sanitation District No. 1 of Northern Kentucky, 1045 Eaton Drive, Ft. Wright, KY 41017

For additional information, registration, and to see a list of rotating host locations, visit www.cincyraingardener.org.

Food Waste Stinks!

Clermont SWCD conducted a series of food waste audits at schools around the county to assess how much food is thrown out in a lunch period. Food waste is a huge issue, especially for schools who bear the brunt of the costs not only in the food that is thrown away, but again when they pay for the waste to be hauled away. In addition to the financial strain of food waste, wasted food can be a hefty burden to the community since it means a loss of natural resources used for growing, processing, packing, and transporting.

In a series of four audits conducted at Pattison Elementary in Milford, and Merwin Elementary and West Clermont Middle School in the West Clermont School District, students were guided in the process of sorting, weighing, and analyzing how much food was thrown out in each lunch period. An average of 94lbs of food was wasted each lunch period or about half a pound of food waste per student. Milk was reported to be the highest wasted food item with a total of 152lbs thrown out across all four audits. Clermont SWCD staff plans to continue conducting audits through the next school year and work with the school districts to find ways to reduce the total waste generated.

Ohio River Sweep

The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission’s (ORANSCO) Ohio River Sweep 2022 will be held on June 25, 2022 from 9 am to noon. The volunteer cleanup extends along the river and is a great volunteer opportunity for groups and individuals with cleanups in New Richmond and Moscow. For more information and registration, contact Penny at OhioRiverSweep@gmail.com.

Clermont SWCD Joins Ohio River Way During Trek Past Clermont County

Jake Hahn, Clermont SWCD, joined the group from Chilo Lock 34 to New Richmond.

A team of 20 modern day adventurers paddled 250 miles on the Ohio River from Portsmouth, OH to Louisville, KY from May 31 through June 9 to officially launch the Ohio River Way (ORW). This group is promoting recreation, connecting communities, and stimulating economic development along the Ohio River.

The Ohio River Way connects people and communities to opportunities for adventure on and along the Ohio River from Portsmouth, OH to West Point, KY. Planning for the ORW began in 2019 with support from the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program of the National Park Service. Through its website (www.ohioriverway.org) the ORW provides information on river towns, river safety, and real time river conditions along with a master calendar of over 150 annual river town festivals and special events. The ORW’s award-winning Digital Guide to the Ohio River helps paddlers, cyclists, hikers, anglers, and motorists plan their adventures by providing information about boat ramps, marinas, campgrounds, bike trails, parks, historic sites, and other amenities.

“We look forward to celebrating the beauty and majesty of the Ohio River with dozens of communities along the Ohio River Way,” said Brewster Rhoads, Chair of the Ohio River Way Board. “Where else in America can you paddle, fish, water ski, hike, bike, and camp while touring Underground Railroad and Native American sites, historic river towns, 19th century architecture, picturesque Main Streets, farmers markets and dozens of breweries, wineries, and distilleries.”

2022 Spring Litter Wrap-up

2022 Winning Design by Ella Hurff

The 2022 Spring Litter Clean-up event was held on Saturday, April 23, with clean-ups at various sites across Clermont County and the East Fork Little Miami River watershed. Over 330 volunteers participated and collected a combined 380 bags of trash and 70+ tires. The Litter Cleanup event is coordinated each year by the Clermont Soil and Water Conservation District and the Valley View Foundation and partially supported with a grant from Ohio EPA, Division of Recycling and Litter Prevention. We truly appreciate the support from our event sponsor, the Southern Ohio Association of Realtors (SOAR). Thank you also to our partnering agencies and organizations, including the Adams/Clermont Soil Waste District, Clermont County Park District, Clermont Office of Public Information, Ohio Department of Natural Resources—Divisions of Parks and Watercraft, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.

Ms. Ella Hurff, a 7th grade student at Milford Jr. High School, was the winner of the student design logo contest which is sponsored by SOAR to promote litter awareness and prevention in K-12th grade schools.  Ella’s design was selected from over 90 entries. For more information about future litter clean up events, email Connie Miller at Clermont Soil & Water Conservation District, or call 513.732.7075 ext. 2

Volunteers Build Demo Rain Garden at Local Restaurant

Home owners, business owners, and commercial property managers interested in storm water management practices can check out a rain garden at Bite Restaurant, 1279 State Route 131, Milford. Volunteers built the demonstration project on a beautiful Friday morning in June.

Rain gardens use native plants to manage storm water runoff, said Kat Zelak, Education Coordinator, Clermont Soil & Water Conservation District. They help water soak into soil faster, important because of the high clay content here.

Volunteers at the newly constructed rain garden at Bite Restaurant.

“Having storm water more quickly infiltrate the soil through the garden instead of running into streams and rivers allows pollutants to be removed in a natural way,” Zelak said.

Like the garden at Bite Restaurant, most sit at the end of downspouts. Others are located at the end of driveways, in low spots in yards or where the biggest need exists.

“They came to me, and I thought it was a great idea,” said Rachel Seeberger, who owns the restaurant with her husband Marc. Bite grows organic vegetables, herbs, fruits, and nuts on its two-acre property. Seeberger noted that she teaches classes on gardening and sustainability to garden clubs and schools. She welcomes having a visual to show how a rain garden works.

Zelak said the rain garden includes strawberries, blue flag iris, yarrow, ashy sunflower, New England aster, bee balm and purple cone flower.

Volunteers from Soil & Water, the Clermont County Office of Environmental Quality and Natural Resources Conservation Service helped plant the garden.