ON THE ROAD TO CLEAN WATER and 2017 Year in Review

At the dawn of 2017, the Cuyahoga SWCD staff was anticipating a wild and crazy year. In addition to rolling out the public involvement/public education (PIPE) program for 21 new communities, and adding another community to the Long Term Operations and Maintenance Program, the logistics of moving the office north were in high gear.

As the end of the year approaches, we are happily thriving in or awesome new office space in Cleveland’s Midtown area. Our program goals were exceeded, the Blueprint to Urban Agriculture is live on the web, we have had more involvement with schools and homeowners associations, and environmental information more expansive and targeted to address problems and concerns where it is most needed. The glitches were minor and the transition was seamless—largely because of outstanding internal collaboration and teamwork.

So, here we are, at the end of an amazing year and the staff has every reason to celebrate. Expansion of our PIPE Program has enabled us to provide more targeted and consistent messages across the county and region, and participate in a variety of interesting, collaborative projects. We fervently believe that we doing or best to protect our soil and water resources.

2017 Highlights

20 Rain Barrel, Green Cleaning and Composting workshops

4 Tree/Native Plants plantings

11 In school and Teacher Programs: 11 (Project Wet, Latino Earth Partnership for Schools)

4 Urban agriculture-related programs/workshops

29 Stream cleanups

15+ Tool Box Talks, Workshops for Professionals, Workshops for Homeowners Associations, Watershed Programs, tours and events

284 Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan Reviews for new construction projects in 17 communities

1947 Monthly Field Inspections/Reports

705 Annual inspections of stormwater control measures

48 Site visits to provided landowner technical assistance

906+Program Volunteers

Our 2018 theme is: On the Road to Clean Water. Wherever you are in Cuyahoga County, Lake Erie starts here, so please join us on this journey. Watch our website for upcoming rain barrel workshops, stream cleanups (we will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Big Creek Cleanups), regional Envirothon, tree plantings and pollinator gardens, soil health and urban farming, and so much more. Click around on our website for more information.

It is truly a gift to work with a great group of colleagues, board and volunteers who are compassionate and committed to the work that they do. Watch as we focus on expanding our tree planting and tree stewardship efforts, and continue to help transform our county from the Rust Belt to the Green Belt! Happy New Year.

“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.”

Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Blog author: Janine Rybka, District Administrator

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