Since 2000, Cuyahoga SWCD has worked with the Euclid Creek Watershed Council, Friends of Euclid Creek and other regional and local partners to implement over $11 million in Euclid Creek watershed projects. Over 275 acres and 9,000 linear ft of stream have been protected. Over 4,000 ft of stream have been restored, and over 12,500 trees and shrubs have been planted. While many big-ticket items like updating septic systems and sewers have been addressed, Euclid Creek still has water quality impairments typical of a highly developed watershed. These efforts were supported by three watershed coordinators before I stepped into the role in 2018: Kristin Albro (2003-2005), Lynn Garrity (2006-2008), and Claire Posius (2008-2018).
It has been an honor to serve as the Euclid Creek Watershed Program Manager the past few years. I have enjoyed my time working with our Euclid Creek Watershed Council Communities, Friends of Euclid Creek, and our many agency partners. Too many to list! It has been a joy playing a part in the many successes on behalf of this small but mighty urban watershed.
Recently I added work on behalf of the west side Cahoon Creek-Frontal Lake Erie Watershed to my plate when our new Watershed Coordinator Meg Hennessey joined the team and took over our watershed volunteer monitoring program and watershed liaison roles. With a fresh NPS-IS plan in place, it has been a joy helping the communities of Bay Village, Rocky River, and Westlake with grant applications and on the ground projects like the recent installation of a native plant garden and rain garden at Dover Intermediate School.
The last few years I have dove into the world of rain gardens and helped bring the Master Rain Gardener program to Northeast Ohio. Since 2019, over one hundred residential rain gardens have been installed and we have built a wonderful community of people dedicated to protecting Lake Erie in their own yards. My second pet project the past few years has been beta testing a mobile application called Litterati. It has been fun tracking local litter cleanup efforts and learning about amazing projects around the world where data is helping to address major waste problems.
I will be moving on to a new watershed role as the Stream Restoration Ecologist with Cleveland Metroparks, and my last day with Cuyahoga SWCD will be February 25th. I look forward to still playing a part in the Cahoon Creek-Frontal Lake Erie and Euclid Creek Watersheds (as well as all those in between!) wearing my new Stream Restoration Ecologist hat and seeing all the future great work by Cuyahoga SWCD with local communities, residents, businesses and agencies in the effort to get back to swimmable fishable waters in our Lake Erie tributary watersheds of Cuyahoga County.