In the election held September 14, Dave Anspach (left) was re-elected to his 7th term, and Tim Rose (right) was re-elected for a second term on the Soil and Water Conservation District’s Board of Supervisors. Both of their terms will begin January 1, 2024 and run through 2027. Congratulations Dave and Tim and thank you for serving your conservation district!
This year the district added a new award, the Volunteer of the Year, to our other two annual awards, the Cooperator of the Year and the Educator of the Year. This was in part due to all the amazing work our Volunteer of the Year, Stacey Creamer put in to rehabbing the Agricultural Service Center’s rain garden. After completing the Master Rain Gardener course, Stacy put in 88 hours through the Ohio Volunteer Certified Naturalists program (OVCN) to increase the functionality, and the beauty of the rain garden – allowing it to be enjoyed by all those that stop by our office for a visit! (Photo at right: Stacey Creamer pictured with Commissioner David Painter).
We also recognized the Clermont County Park District Naturalists as our Educators of the Year. The park naturalists have significantly expanded their educational programming this past year and offer a wide range of conservation themed programs. The district has had the pleasure to partner with the Park District this year on several programs such as the development of the Landowner Conservation Series (which will be coming back in the new year). Additionally, they lead the Clermont County Volunteer Program which is a collaboration between the Park District and Clermont SWCD. We look forward to continuing to grow our partnership with the Parks in the years to come! (Pictured at left: Clermont Park District Naturalists with Ohio State Rep. Jean Schmidt)
Last, but certainly not least we awarded the Village of Williamsburg (below) with the Cooperator of the Year award. Throughout this past year we have received outstanding support from the village during our construction and development of the Williamsburg off-channel wetland project.
Clermont SWCD was honored to present Chris Smith with our Cooperator of the Year award at our Annual Meeting. Chris Smith operates Bogie Greene Acres in Felicity where he lives with Kelli, his wife of 26 years. Together they raise beef cattle and farm about 250 acres of grain. Chris started growing tobacco when he was 16, and began raising cattle on his grandfather’s farm – the farm he now operates – about 25 years ago. He has installed a number of conservation practices, including a manure storage barn, watering facilities, fence and heavy use area protection. Currently, he has a contract to develop a nutrient management plan for his farm.
Chris has also been involved in a number of other activities. He has been a 4-H advisor for over 30 years. Recently, Chris served as a Trustee for Franklin Township, and also served on the Felicity-Franklin School Board for eight years.
We commend Chris Smith for his stewardship efforts, and for being an active partner in helping to protect the land and valuable natural resources of the county.
Kim Rees, a 4th grade math and science teacher at Merwin Elementary School, was awarded the Educator of the Year award at our Annual Meeting held in September.
Teaching has been Kim’s passion for twenty-five years. Over the 2021-22 school year, Kim worked hard to reduce food waste at Merwin Elementary. This inspired a shift from Merwin’s Math and Science Club into a Science and Nature Club. Through a partnership with Clermont SWCD and the Cincinnati Nature Center, as well as Merwin’s Kindness Club, Kim was able to create an amazing outdoor classroom and garden featuring native plants. Kim is also working hard to develop a food waste composting program, with the finished compost being used on the school garden.
Clermont SWCD is pleased to honor Kim Rees for her conservation education efforts, and looks forward to working with her in the future. If you would like to learn more about education programs offered through Clermont SWCD, visit https://www.clermontswcd.org/education-and-outreach/
In the election held September 14, Connie O’Connor was re-elected for a second term on the Soil and Water Conservation District’s Board of Supervisors. Her term will begin January 1, 2023 and run through 2026.
Congratulations Connie, and thank you for serving your conservation district!