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 dsnyder@ClermontCountyOhio.gov or visit www.cohenusa.com/lights

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 www.clermontswcd.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2020/06/contractor-list-survey-form.pdf.

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 www.OEQ.net 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 www.clermontswcd.org/newsletter-signup/.

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.

Board of Supervisors Re-elected

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!