How to Harness Spring Rains

Flowers need water, right? Plant a garden in an area that receives water naturally, such as below a roof downspout.  Simply dig a small depression that will collect and hold an amount of water that will soak in or evaporate over two days. This is known as a rain garden, and we offer several plants that will thrive in these conditions, like all of our pollinator plugs (purple cone flower. black-eyed susan, pink turtlehead, cardinal flower and New England aster) as well as some shrubs (button bush, nannyberry and spice bush).

For more tips on creating your own rain garden, give us a call or visit www.clermontswcd.org/rain-gardens-barrels/

SWCD Welcomes New Education Specialist

Hello, my name is Elea Cooper and I am the new Education and Communications Coordinator. I am originally from Des Moines, Iowa, but have been living in Oxford, Ohio for the last 4 years while attending Miami University. This May, I will be graduating with a B.A. in Biology and Sustainability and a Master of Environmental Science. I’ve also completed certificates in Environmental Education and Geographic Information Systems, and did my thesis on the impacts of overabundant deer on forest health. In my free time, I enjoy spending time outdoors and hanging out with my dogs. I am so excited to be joining the Clermont SWCD team! Please feel free to reach out to me at ecooper@clermontcountyohio.gov for any questions or recommendations about programming.

Staff Recognized at Ohio SWCD Federation Meeting

Clermont SWCD had a memorable time at the annual partnership meeting of the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts in January. Staff gave presentations on our Williamsburg Wetland Project during the general session and a breakout session during the first day of the conference. On the following day, we were presented with the 2023 Urban Program of the Year award. To top things off, our own Becky McClatchey was honored as the Ohio Outstanding Employee of the Year – we wholeheartedly agree!

Photo Top: From L to R: SWCD employees Amanda Best, Becky McClatchey, Jake Hahn, John McManus, OFSWCD President Jeff Duling.

Photo left: Chad Stang, OASWCDE Board member, Becky McClatchey, John McManus

Contractors List Update

We are in the process of revamping our Contractors List and want to hear from you!

If you are a contractor, we would love to add you to our listing. If you are a Clermont County resident, let us know what contractors have been hard for you to find and we can start the process for you! The Contractors List registration form can be found at www.clermontswcd.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/06/contractor-list-survey-form.pdf.

SWCD’s Summer Intern Returns through AmeriCorps Position

We are welcoming back our summer intern, Abigail Frazer, through an AmeriCorps Watershed Technician position. Abigail graduated this past spring from UC Clermont with an associate’s in environmental studies and plans to continue her education in the future by pursuing a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies in the upcoming years. In the meantime, she wishes to focus her time getting acquainted with different career opportunities in the field she obtained her degree in. Abigail has always been fond of the outdoors, which inspired her to pursue her environmental studies degree. When she isn’t out hiking and enjoying the great outdoors, she enjoys painting at home and spending time with family, friends, and their pets. Last summer, Abigail assisted the district with various projects, including a personal project where she catalogued the status of various rain gardens the district has helped create over the years — we are happy to welcome her back.

NRCS Welcomes New Natural Resource Specialist

Hi everyone! My name is Mariah Denzik and I’m happy to join Brown and Clermont Natural Resources Conservation Service as a Natural Resource Specialist. I began my career with USDA with the Farm Service Agency in August of 2021 and recently made the jump to NRCS in October. I’ve always enjoyed being outdoors and graduated from Ohio University with a B.A in Environmental Biology and a certificate in Environmental Sustainability. After graduation, I moved to North Carolina where I participated in wetland surveys on Camp Lejeune and taught various science lab courses at a community college. When I made my way back to Ohio, I worked with the Adams County Health Department as an Environmental Health Specialist while gaining an M.S. in Biological Sciences online with Clemson University. My time outside of work is spent going on various adventures with my son, Emerson and our three-legged dog, Charlie.

Jacob Lynch Joins Clermont SWCD as Urban Technician

Hello, my name is Jacob Lynch and I am the new Urban Technician for Clermont SWCD. I grew up in Hilliard, Ohio and have been living in the Loveland area for almost 3 years. I have an associate’s degree in Natural Resources Law Enforcement from Hocking College and a B.S. in Wildlife Management as well as a minor in Conservation Ecology from West Virginia University. I previously worked for The Ohio Department of Agriculture and before that I worked in construction up in Columbus as well several parks in the Central Ohio area (State and County level). In my free time you can find me camping, hiking or planning for the years hunting seasons. I look forward to working with the communities of Clermont County and being a part of Clermont SWCD.

Drainage Guide Developed for Clermont Residents

Throughout the year, Clermont SWCD receives numerous calls from residents with concerns about water issues, some of which we can help out with, such as drainage or erosion issues on private property, and some are the responsibility of other organizations, such as cleaning up a roadside ditch. For people who are experiencing problems with erosion, drainage, sewers or other water-related issues, Clermont SWCD has created a guide to help identify the best organization to contact, which can be downloaded here. If after consulting with the guide you are still unsure about who to contact, please give us a call at 513-732-7075 ext. 2

Clermont SWCD’s Summer Intern

This summer, Clermont SWCD has partnered with the University of Cincinnati in the first ever Braun Environmental Science Fellowship. This fellowship helps connect UC’s students with organizations and project managers like the Cincinnati Nature Center, UC Clermont’s Sustainability Committee, and us (Clermont SWCD). We are happy to introduce our summer intern Abigail Frazer who will be working alongside our direct staff in various projects. Abigail graduated this past spring from UC Clermont with an Associates in Environmental Studies and plans to continue her education in the future by pursuing a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies in the upcoming years. In the meantime she wishes to focus her time getting acquainted with different career opportunities in the field she obtained her degree in. Abigail has always been fond of the outdoors, which inspired her to pursue her Environmental Studies degree. When she isn’t out hiking and enjoying the great outdoors, she enjoys painting at home and spending time with family, friends, and their pets.

Be the Change for Clean Water

Is your house located along a stream? Streams are dynamic systems, meaning they are constantly changing. Your stream may be a babbling brook most days but after a heavy rain, it can become a roiling river. The best way to get along with your stream is to protect the edge with a buffer strip of native grass, forbs, trees, and/or shrubs. Streamside buffers are beneficial for many reasons:

  • A buffer of vegetation helps stabilize the bank and protect homes along O’Bannon Creek

    Plant roots help stabilize the stream bank. Native plants have deep root systems which hold the soil in place.

  • Buffers filter out sediment and other pollutants that may wash into a stream. Sediment can smother aquatic organisms that live on the stream bottom and make it difficult for fish to find food.
  • Within the water, small fish and other aquatic organisms will find vital cover under plants that hang over the edge. The shade provided by the plants in the buffer helps to moderate the temperature of the stream. Cooler water holds more oxygen and reduces stress on fish and other aquatic creatures.
  • Flourishing vegetation on the bank attracts desirable wildlife such as mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Buffers entice insects like dragonflies, and various birds, which feed on mosquitoes and ticks. Buffers provide an excellent food source for our valuable pollinators. Buffers provide connecting corridors that enable wildlife to move safely from one habitat area to another.
  • Buffers help filter trash as well as leaves, grass clippings, fertilizers, and other debris that can cause excessive nutrient spikes. If the stream receives runoff laden with nitrogen and phosphorus, nuisance vegetation and algae can grow. Excessive growth may lead to water quality problems such as foul odors, low dissolved oxygen levels potentially leading to fish kills, and harmful algal blooms which are unsafe for people, pets, and wildlife.
  • Buffers absorb rainwater, which recharges groundwater supplies and allows storm runoff to be released more slowly. This can reduce the intensity and frequency of flooding.

Clermont SWCD staff can provide guidance on how to establish an effective and attractive stream buffer. If you would like our assistance, please give our office a call at 513-732-7075.

For a list of stream buffer friendly plants available through our Annual Plant Sale, see page 2.

(Adapted from an article published by Franklin Soil & Water Conservation District)