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

H2Ohio Moves State-Wide

Harmful algal bloom on East Fork Lake

H2Ohio is Governor Mike DeWine’s water quality initiative for the state. This initiative is implemented through various partnerships including the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA).

H2Ohio and ODA’s partnership program works to bring money to farmers for implementing best management practices. ODA works through local County based Soil and Water Conservation Districts to bring these programs to producers and to provide the technical assistance to make sure that practices are working effectively for each farmer.

In past years H2Ohio has focused on bringing agricultural incentives to farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin by cost sharing on the development and implementation of volunteer nutrient management plans. These plans follow Ohio State guidelines (Tri-State Fertilizer Guide) for the application of manure and other fertilizers to crop fields. This spring, H2Ohio will be rolling out the program to the rest of Ohio.

If you would like to learn more about the program please call our office at (513) 732-7075 or email

The application window is not currently open but we are creating a contact list to send out updates. Funding is limited and will be first come first serve.

For more information on H2Ohio, visit

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 for any questions or recommendations about programming.

In Our Watersheds

Check out this video highlighting the Williamsburg Wetland! Designed to remove pollutants and provide quality habitat, the wetland is functioning as intended and absorbing excess water during storm events. Thanks to the many project partners, especially the Clermont Co. Office of Public Information and Ohio EPA for their assistance producing this fun and educational video.

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

Holiday Lights Recycling

The Adams-Clermont Solid Waste District and Cohen will be teaming up again this year to provide convenient opportunities to recycle those unwanted or non-working decorative string lights. From December 1st to February 1st residents will be able to recycle their traditional or LED-style string lights by dropping them into a specially marked outdoor container (locations listed right).

For more information on this holiday light recycling program call 513-732-7744, email or visit

Holiday Light Recycling Locations

  • Shor Park: 4659 Tealtown Road Milford, OH 45150 (container is by public restrooms)
  • Sycamore Park: 4082 State Route 132, Batavia OH 45103 (container is by public restrooms)
  • Chilo Lock 34 Park: 521 County Park Rd, Chilo, OH 45112 (Museum and Visitors Center)
  • Clermont Soil & Water Conservation District @ Clermont County Fairgrounds, 1000 Locust St. Owensville, OH 45160 (container is in front of agricultural service center, near gazebo)
  • Pierce Township Service Department: 950 Locust Corner Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45245 (next to public recycling dumpsters)
  • Clermont County Water Resources: 4400 Haskell Lane Batavia, OH 45103
  • Cincinnati Nature Center (CNC members only): 4949 Tealtown Road, Milford, OH 45150 (Rowe Woods Visitor Center)
  • Long Branch Farm & Trails (CNC members only): 6926 Gaynor Road, Goshen OH 45122

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

Construction of Williamsburg Wetland Completed

The Williamsburg Off-Channel Wetland project, located along the East Fork Little Miami River, ~12 miles upstream of Harsha Lake, was completed this summer by the dedicated partners listed below. The project began after the low-head dam was removed (2018) and a 3-acre drinking water reservoir was left behind in a 15-acre wooded floodplain. “When our watershed partners asked us to consider turning the reservoir into a wetland, we were excited to take another step forward to help local water conservation efforts,” said Mayor Mary Ann Lefker.

Clermont SWCD and the Clermont County OEQ worked with partners to assess the site. Recognizing the unique opportunity for a demonstration site upstream of a major lake, the partners and multiple funding sources allowed us to create an enhanced wetland design that provided habitat and water quality benefits, including the installation of high frequency water quality monitoring equipment.

To create as much water storage as possible, approximately 34,000 cubic yards of sediment was excavated from the floodplain and the reservoir. This improved the river-floodplain connection and allowed water to flow two ways through the system. An average rain event directs water into an inlet channel connected to the reservoir through an underdrain. Two wintering holes were dug along this path to provide habitat throughout the seasons. Within the reservoir, water meanders along a path to an outlet on the southern berm. The outlet pipe was sized and fitted with a flap gate to slowly release water into a meandering 2,000 foot floodplain channel nicknamed “the gut.”

During larger storm events, excess water can bypass the reservoir and flow directly onto the floodplain. The entire system was constructed with minimal slope to slow and store water, and remove pollutants before water re-enters the river. The water monitoring equipment tracks water flow and measures the amount of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and sediment removed from the river. The monitoring is a key component and partner agencies will study the data to understand how constructed wetland systems can help protect water resources, like Harsha Lake.

Special Thanks to all our Project Partners: Village of Williamsburg, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Duke Energy Foundation, Friends of Reservoirs/National Fish Habitat Partnership, Ohio EPA, U.S. EPA/ORD, Ohio State University and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources/H2Ohio Program.

Leave Those Leaves Alone

By Clermont County Office of Environmental Quality

Every year nearly 8 million tons of leaves end up buried in landfills across the United States. Due to a lack of oxygen, those leaves are unable to decompose quickly and instead release methane gas. However, when fallen leaves are left in your yard they can decompose faster and leave behind organic matter that greatly enhances soil health. Leaves are full of nutrients that will make your lawn thrive, including potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen. While ditches, driveway culverts, and storm drains still need to be kept clear of leaves and other debris to prevent flooding, wildlife and lawn experts agree that when it comes to your lawn it is usually better to skip the raking and bagging and leave those leaves in place!

Chopping up blankets of leaves with a lawn mower may be necessary to thin out the material and break the leaves down quickly. This is important because thick layers of leaves left on your lawn blocks out the sunlight which is needed for photosynthesis. Excess leaves can be raked around trees and shrubs in 3 – 6 inch deep piles or into a landscape bed or garden and used for mulch. Combining fallen leaves with grass clippings and other organic green material can also produce nutrient-rich compost.

Visit the Adams-Clermont Solid Waste District’s website at to learn more about home composting and other yard waste disposal options in Clermont County.

District Agriculture Program Expansion

Lots of work is currently being done at the SWCD to expand our agricultural offerings. We are hoping to develop an agriculture specific contact list for sharing news and events relating to Agriculture in the county. If you are interested in being added to this list, please update your preferences by visiting our newsletter sign-up page at