Fred is a lifetime east-sider and a John Carroll University graduate with a degree in environmental science, with a piqued interest in the conservation of natural resources. After graduating Fred worked for 2 different environmental firms: AQUA DOC Lake & Pond Management & Emerald Environmental, which showed him the further importance of proper maintenance of stormwater features and the impact that that the mismanagement has on the surrounding community. Fred’s biggest goal at CSWCD is to become a well-rounded stormwater professional, and already the SWCD has exposed him to many new aspects that he never thought he would be interacting with. In his free time, Fred plays in volleyball leagues around Cleveland, cooks at La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant in Highland Heights, and enjoy concerts and new restaurants around Cleveland.
"In my first month on the job, I've spent most of my time on active construction sites, inspecting best management practices (BMP) for minimizing off-site pollution. Learning about all these practices in-action made it much easier to review reference materials such as the ODNR Rainwater and Land Development manual, which outlines the technical specifications which all the BMP's should maintain. I've also reviewed last year's post-construction site inspections reports to understand the maintenance shortcomings of the communities which CSWCD serves in order to help property managers restore their stormwater retention basins. I'm looking forward to attending the Ohio Stormwater Conference later next month!"
Julie is the latest NOWCorps member to serve at Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District. They grew up in Rocky River and feel incredibly lucky to have had access to the magical waterways of Northeast Ohio. After graduating from Ohio University with a film degree, Julie worked on some movie sets and tried their hand at interior painting. Working in the art world was fun, but Julie often felt a strong desire to give back to the water. Julie is looking forward to learning how to improve Lake Erie and the rivers and streams of Cuyahoga for humans and all other creatures. They hope to use their experience in design and storytelling to share lessons on watershed management and to bring community members together. Outside of NOWCorps, Julie loves to embroider, upcycle clothes, and support all the unique Cleveland artists.
"I’ve been serving at Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District for about a month and a half now. I can’t believe it! I feel like I’ve learned so much already, and I can’t wait to broaden my horizons here. For the most part, I’ve been assisting with the Native Urban Tree Starters, or N.U.T.S., program. That has been a blast! Tim Becker, one of the educators, and I have been returning to classes that collected acorns, buckeyes, and walnuts in the fall to plant the tree nuts with them for spring. I’ve never collected tree seeds and tried to plant them, so the process of stratification (simulated winter) and waiting for seeds to germinate are new to me. It’s been so fun looking through our bags of stratified seeds to see which ones have cracked open and grown little taproots. The taproots look like little tails or tentacles creeping out to say hello. It’s incredible how much character small tree seeds can have!
In addition to helping with the N.U.T.S. program, I’ve also been attending lots of trainings and meetings. Through these trainings and meetings, I’ve been able to learn what the fine folks of Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District actually do! I’ve heard about community river cleanups and educational workshops, but had no idea who was organizing them. It seems like collaborating with partners and other organizations within the watersheds plays a big role in formulating events and getting them out to different communities. It’s been inspiring to witness all of the people within CSWCD and outside of it that are passionate about engaging and educating the public on how to best protect our water and soil.
It makes me pumped for our spring and summer events! I’m looking forward to helping plan events and participate in them. I can’t wait to get outside in the sun and meet volunteers and community members at river cleanups and workshops. I love meeting new people and hearing about what they get up to in the watershed!"