The past thirteen years has resulted in significant growth for the Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District. Our historical assistance in providing conservation education and technical assistance related to erosion and sediment control and pollution prevention has become more important than ever. Since 2003, our agency has collaborated with twenty-five communities within the county to deliver conservation programs that help those communities meet the requirements of their Clean Water Act permits.
Cuyahoga SWCD staff provides technical assistance to community staff, private landowners and other professionals. Education programs include the wildly popular rain barrel workshops, workshops for teachers and professionals, as well as short “lunch and learn” sessions that feature presentations by regional businesses that offer solutions for addressing storm water needs.
This year the staff is busier than ever. Much-needed water quality and streambank erosion data is being collected in the Euclid Creek and Rocky River watersheds. Watershed projects, such as the removal of dams and the restoration of critical wetlands, help meet the remediation goals that were identified in the state-approved watershed action plans. Storm Water Program staff have expanded their efforts into two additional communities. They work with designers and developers to review storm water management plans and conduct regular field reviews to help ensure that proper pollution prevention practices are being used and maintained. Volunteers assist Cuyahoga SWCD staff with various project tasks, including planting, inspecting and maintaining rain gardens, helping with stream clean ups, stream monitoring, storm drain stenciling and community outreach.
The five-member Board of Supervisors lends their guidance and expertise to formulating policy, developing the strategic plan and providing guidance and help to support the mission. Combined with the phenomenal teamwork of the staff, new partnerships and better collaboration with public and private sector entities and landowners, and an agility and flexibility to implement programs aligned with the mission—good conservation practices are being implemented.
So here’s to our new website, which I hope you will find easy to navigate, informative and timely. More importantly, I hope you will bookmark our page to stay informed about future programs and events. You will also notice, thanks to input from many of our partners that the emphases on our website and in our updated logo reflect our expertise in soil and water issues. In the coming months our newsletters, fact sheets and program announcements will also have a more unified appearance. And finally, watch this column for timely conservation tips and discussions by staff about interesting projects and field observations.