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.

Krebs Retires After 31 Years

At the end of January, Judy Krebs retired from Clermont SWCD after 31 years of service. When Judy started as the District’s first ever Education Specialist, she instituted the in-school education programs that continue to this day.

In recent years, Judy would present over 300 programs annually to local students on various topics related to soil and water conservation and litter prevention and recycling. During her tenure, Clermont SWCD was named the Ohio Conservation Education District of the Year in 2000 and 2010. Over 31 years, Judy has touched the lives of countless students and worked diligently over the years to instill a strong sense of environmental stewardship in Clermont County communities. Thank you for your service, Judy! You will be missed.

SWCD Receives Award for Partnership

In 2018, the Clermont Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and Clermont County Board of Developmental Disabilities (DD) began a partnership that has greatly benefited both organizations. To celebrate this relationship, Clermont DD presented Clermont SWCD with a Friends of Developmental Disabilities at its annual banquet on October 23.

The partnership began when Clermont SWCD was looking for assistance with preparing materials for the numerous education programs given through the year. Judy Krebs, the SWCD Education Specialist, typically presents over 275 programs in county schools annually, and had been spending considerable time making and organizing supplies for these. “We knew that Clermont DD had several programs that help students become more involved in the community, so we decided to reach out,” said Krebs.

Clermont DD staff thought this was a wonderful idea. Soon, students from both the Wildey Center and the Douglas A. Collins Center began to prepare materials for Krebs’s “Life Cycle of the Monarch Butterfly” and “Animal Tracks” programs. “While they are working, the students also have a chance to learn something about nature,” said Krebs. “The students are able to see how butterflies go from a very small egg to a beautiful butterfly in their life cycle. Those helping make animal tracks learn about animal adaptations, characteristics, and how animals can be harmed when people litter.”