2023 Annual Meeting Award Winners

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.

Kim Rees Wins SWCD Educator of the Year

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/

Welcome the New Staff in our Office!

Kat Zelak, SWCD Education Coordinator

Hello, my name is Kat Zelak and I am looking forward to serving you as your Education Coordinator. I grew up in Rochester, NY and have called Cincinnati home for the last 3 years. In 2014, I completed two B.S. degrees from Cornell University in animal science and natural resources and in 2018, a M.S. degree from the Ohio State University in agriculture and extension education. In my free time I love to take backpacking trips, knit, and play ice hockey. I’m excited to learn more about your programming needs and work with you all in the future. If you have any recommendations for future programming or feedback about the programs we currently offer, please do not hesitate to contact me at kzelak@clermontcountyohio.gov.


Brittany McAdams, NRCS Soil Conservationist

My name is Brittany McAdams and I am the new soil conservationist for Clermont and Brown Counties. I originally hail from Aurora, IN, which is right across the IN/OH state line in Dearborn County. I earned my B.S. in natural resources from Purdue University and my M.S. in soil science from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. For the past two years I worked as a land manager and educator for a parks district in Carmel, Indiana. When I’m not working as a soil con, I am an avid birder, and spend a lot of my time hiking in the beautiful woodlands of southwest Ohio and northern Kentucky. I am very excited to be joining the NRCS team and become a part of the Clermont and Brown County community.