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:
Plant roots help stabilize the stream bank. Native plants have deep root systems which hold the soil in place.
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)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Ohio Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications from landowners interested in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) to build on existing conservation efforts to increase operational efficiencies and environmental benefits as well as reduce overall input costs.
This year, Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funding is providing additional financial opportunities for select conservation practices and enhancements to increase direct climate mitigation benefits. The deadline to receive fiscal year 2023 funding for both CSP-Classic and CSP-IRA is April 7, 2023.
Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners earn payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and pollinator and beneficial insect habitat – all while maintaining active agriculture and forestry production on their land.
Learn more about the CSP-Classic and CSP-IRA application process and eligible land use resource concerns on the Ohio NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program webpage. Landowners in Clermont County who are interested in signing up or learning about other technical and financial assistance available through NRCS should contact Christina Gates, District Conservationist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (513) 732-2181 ext. 3.
This winter, Clermont SWCD plans to host multiple public meetings to gather input from residents and landowners on the our programs and services. Information gathered from these meetings will be used to update the District’s five-year strategic plan. Please watch www.clermontswcd.org or our Facebook page for updates and information on how you can participate. If you have questions, please email email@example.com or call (513) 732-5075 ext. 3
This October, Clermont SWCD hired Amanda Best as our new Urban Technician. This is a new position which will be responsible for inspecting erosion and sediment control practices at active construction sites. Prior to starting with Clermont County, Amanda worked as a survey aid for Woodford County SWCD in Illinois where she helped to get farm conservation on the ground. She graduated with a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Illinois Wesleyan University in spring of 2020 where she also played collegiate lacrosse. In her free time she enjoys trying new food and restaurants, crafting, and taking a good walk.
Clermont SWCD is working with local partners to plan this year’s Litter Clean-Up event. The 2023 event will be held at multiple locations through Clermont County on Saturday, April 22, 2023. Group and in-person activities plan to be coordinated for the 2023 event.
There are many opportunities and areas throughout the county for volunteers to help by clearing trash and unsightly debris from our parks, waterways and other shared open spaces. Community coordinators will provide details on those activities later in the spring. All volunteers will be provided with clean-up materials upon request for their activities, including protective gloves, trash bags and litter grabbers. Individuals that request litter clean-up materials will be sent details for supply pick-up in their communities.
We appreciate the support of our partner agencies, including the Ohio EPA, Adams-Clermont Soil Waste District (ACSWD), the Clermont County Park District, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and OSU Extension. Most importantly, thank you to the volunteers and communities that come back year after year to protect our local natural resources!
Please visit the SLC website for more information: www.springlittercleanup.com. For questions or additional information please contact Connie Miller at (513) 732-7075 ext. 2 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to all our Cooperators for all the Conservation Best Management Practices installed this year!
|Access Road||88 ft|
|Brush Management||20 acres|
|Conservation Cover||76.3 acres|
|Cover Crops||1,348.1 acres|
|Forest Stand Improvement||7.2 acres|
|Heavy Use Area Protection||2,796 sq ft|
|Herbaceous Weed Control||44.6 acres|
|High Tunnel System||2 units|
|Livestock Pipeline||405 ft|
|Nutrient Management||813.1 acres|
|Pasture and Hay Planting||29.3 acres|
|Roof Runoff Structure||2 units|
|Watering Facility||3 units|
With major storm events becoming more frequent, managing stormwater is an ever increasing issue for homeowners. Impervious surfaces such as roofs and pavement keep the water from being absorbed into the ground. Additionally, large lawns of turf grass often do a poor job of soaking rain in quickly which can contribute to high volumes of water runoff. Stormwater runoff poses many issues for the environment and communities. Runoff frequently carries pollutants such as fertilizers, herbicides, pet waste, and litter into our waterways. If the water does not have a way to properly drain, it can lead to flooding and other property damage. Given the wide range of issues that can be caused by increased volumes of stormwater, it is important to consider different management strategies.
The most impactful way to manage stormwater properly is to figure out how to ‘slow it down and soak it up’. Slowing the water down can help prevent erosion and allows stormwater systems to adequately handle storm events. If stormwater can be absorbed into the ground on your property, that is even better since it prevents the water from entering and potentially overloading our sewer systems. There are many different strategies that homeowners can take to ‘slow it down and soak it up’ on their properties such as decreasing the amount of turf grass in their lawn or planting native gardens.
If changing your greenspace isn’t an option, consider installing a rain barrel or two. Rain barrels capture water from the roof and hold it for later use. They are typically attached to downspouts and can collect most if not all rain that falls on your roof. Once in the barrel, the water can then be used to irrigate your lawn, water house plants, or dispelled onto your property any time after the storm. Just 1/4 inch of rainfall can yield up to 150 gallons of water from a 1000 square foot roof. Imagine the water bill savings if you used that water in your outdoor irrigation! Rain barrels can be purchased from Clermont SWCD, through Save Local Waters’ Rain Barrel Art Project, or you can build your own rain barrel using repurposed plastic containers. If you have any questions about using rain barrels on your property or about the Rain Barrel Art Project, please contact Education Coordinator Kat Zelak at email@example.com.
Clermont SWCD was honored to present Chris Smith with our Cooperator of the Year award at our Annual Meeting. Chris Smith operates Bogie Greene Acres in Felicity where he lives with Kelli, his wife of 26 years. Together they raise beef cattle and farm about 250 acres of grain. Chris started growing tobacco when he was 16, and began raising cattle on his grandfather’s farm – the farm he now operates – about 25 years ago. He has installed a number of conservation practices, including a manure storage barn, watering facilities, fence and heavy use area protection. Currently, he has a contract to develop a nutrient management plan for his farm.
Chris has also been involved in a number of other activities. He has been a 4-H advisor for over 30 years. Recently, Chris served as a Trustee for Franklin Township, and also served on the Felicity-Franklin School Board for eight years.
We commend Chris Smith for his stewardship efforts, and for being an active partner in helping to protect the land and valuable natural resources of the county.
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/
In the election held September 14, Connie O’Connor was re-elected for a second term on the Soil and Water Conservation District’s Board of Supervisors. Her term will begin January 1, 2023 and run through 2026.
Congratulations Connie, and thank you for serving your conservation district!