Water Education for a New Generation

Since 2003, Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District has implemented an annual Public Involvement/Public Education Program (PIPE) for about half of the communities within the county. Last fall when the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District designated the Cuyahoga SWCD as a “preferred provider” for PIPE services, our long term goal of working with communities throughout Cuyahoga County became a reality. With nearly every community in the county having a mandate to implement an annual PIPE Program, the SWCD now has a wonderful opportunity to have a greater impact in promoting pollution prevention practices on a county-wide basis.

Increasing program outreach to more than twice as many communities has enabled the SWCD to hire its first-ever Stormwater Educator. While the Cuyahoga SWCD has provided teacher workshops in the past, the ability to do so was limited by time and staff resources. Jacki Zevenbergen, a long-time environmental activist and volunteer, teacher, interpreter and naturalist was hired to assist with the implementation of PIPE Programs throughout the county. Her specific emphasis will be working with teachers and in classrooms, a niche the SWCD has long desired to fill.

Jacki holds both Bachelors and Master’s degree in biology, with a graduate certificate in environmental studies. She is also certified as a facilitator for the popular Project WET, Project Wild, Project Learning Tree, Wonders of Wetlands and Science & Civics curriculum - all of which she has implemented for teachers and students. Jacki currently serves as an adjunct professor at Kent State University and worked for years as a substitute teacher for grades K-12, with emphasis on students with special needs in science and math. An added bonus was her work with the Washington County SWCD as a respected watershed coordinator.

Jacki is developing a variety of grade level environmental programs for teachers and students, including indoor and outdoor activities.To learn more, please contact her at 216-524-6580, ext. 20

Blog author: Janine Rybka, District Administrator

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