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.

Rain Gardens Revisited

Once again, it’s been a long, cold winter, but spring is approaching and thoughts are turning to gardening. If you are planning some new landscaping around the house this year, you may want to consider a rain garden, which can be an attractive feature that also helps manage storm water runoff.

Rain gardens look like any other flower garden, but they are built in a shallow depression that is designed to collect rain water and slowly filter it into the ground over a period of a day or two. A typical rain garden planted with native wildflowers, shrubs or trees can soak up to 30% more water than a conventional lawn. Rain gardens also help to remove pollutants in storm water that are picked up from our lawns, rooftops, driveways and parking lots. In addition to the water quality benefits, rain gardens providing important habitat and food sources for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife.

Anyone can build a rain garden on their own. Creating one requires nothing more high tech than a shovel. To aid landowners in their quest to build their own garden, we have collaborated with local organizations to create the Greater Cincinnati Master Rain Gardener Course. The first session is already full, but you can add your name to the waitlist for future classes at www.cincyraingardener.org or join the Facebook group Greater Cincinnati Master Rain Gardeners for great ideas from fellow gardeners. Plenty of tips are also available on our web site at www.clermontswcd.org/rain-gardens-barrels/. And if you run in to problems – don’t give up. Just give us a call or shoot us an email and we’ll help you through it.

Volunteers needed for 2022 Spring Litter Clean-up!

The annual Spring Litter Clean-up event will be held at multiple locations throughout Clermont County on Saturday, April 23, 2022. Event organizers, including the Clermont Soil and Water Conservation District and the Valley View Foundation, are currently recruiting volunteers to help clear trash and unsightly debris at several parks, waterways and other shared open spaces across the county. Families, individuals, scout groups, and other organizations are encouraged to participate!

Several of the staging events planned for this event include East Fork State Park, Stonelick State Park, City of Milford, Miami Township, Village of Bethel, Village of Williamsburg, and Pierce Township. All volunteers will be provided with materials for their clean-up activities, including protective gloves, trash bags and litter grabbers. Individuals that request litter cleanup materials will be sent details for supply pick-up in their communities.

Please visit the Spring Litter Clean-up website for more information or register: www.springlittercleanup.com

Additional inquires can be directed to Connie Miller at (513) 732-7075 ext. 2 or cmiller@clermontcountyohio.gov

Mark your Calendars for the East Fork River Canoe Adventure

Join the Clermont County Park District and the Clermont Soil and Water Conservation District at Roadside Park in Batavia for an hour long canoe trip down the East Fork Little Miami River. We’ll search for beaver, wood ducks, turtles, and other aquatic wildlife then make a brief stop at Sycamore Park.

Saturday September 25, 2021
9:30 am
Meet at Roadside Park, 4435 State Route 222, Batavia, OH 45103

*Preregistration is required. Call (513) 760-8393 or email rgreen@clermontcountyohio.gov to register before September 24th. Spots limited.

Participants need to be able to get in and out of canoes and walk through shallow waters. You may get wet! Participants must sign a waiver prior to the program. (Children must be 10 and above to ride in canoe).

The Canoe Adventure is part of the Great Outdoor Weekend. Visit www.greatoutdoorweekend.org/events to learn more about this event.

Pond Management Series Coming Soon

A series of videos are in the works by our office to assist landowners in making management decisions on their ponds. These short videos will contain the basics of pond management here in our county and address some of the most common problems and questions our office receives calls on. These will be released as they are completed and will supplement our annual pond clinic. As always, we still offer free onsite consultations to your pond management and pond construction needs. You can also check out our website for additional educational pond material.