Funding provided for area conservation

By Nikki Blankenship - [email protected]

Due to recently announced grant funding, the Northwest School District has a chance to work on environmental programs, an opportunity that comes about as a result of the cooperation with the Friends of Scioto Brush Creek, located in Otway.

“Last week, Western Reserve Land Conservancy and Dominion Energy (one of the largest energy production companies in the nation) awarded $35,000 in Watershed Mini Grants to 19 watershed groups from across Ohio,” Emily Bacha with Western Reserve explained. “Locally, Friends of Scioto Brush Creek, Inc. received $1,300 to provide educational programming for 6th – 12th graders in Scioto County’s Northwest School District who have chosen to participate in Future Farmers of America and/or Envirothon programs.”

“Ohio’s watershed groups are critical to protecting the health of our freshwater resources,” President and CEO of Western Reserve Rich Cochran stated in a press release.

A watershed area is one in which water drains from streams and surface water into a single body of water such as a river. According to the release, the water quality of these areas is at an increased risk due to activities in the areas including mining, roadways, agriculture, urban development, deforestation and the everyday activities of those living in the areas. As byproducts and pollutants from such activities accumulate in local streams through runoff, they deposit into one body of water and impact both plant and animal life. Grant funding through the aforementioned program is aimed at reducing pollutants.

“We are extremely grateful to partner with Dominion Energy again this year to support the important and innovative work of watershed groups across the state, from more traditional planting projects along streambanks to unique education programs in schools and communities,” Cochran added.

“Dominion Energy is proud to partner with Western Reserve Land Conservancy for this annual Watershed Mini Grants Program,” said Jim Eck, Dominion Energy vice president, Ohio & West Virginia Distribution Operations. “This year’s award-winning organizations have more than lived up to the high standards of creativity, commitment and enthusiasm, set by past honorees. Recognizing such outstanding grassroots effort is a key element of Dominion Energy’s environmental and community service commitment. We congratulate all of the award winning watershed organizations across Ohio.”

Dominion Energy and Western Reserve Land Conservancy launched the Watershed Mini Grant Program in 2015 to serve organizations working to protect and improve land around rivers, lakes and streams throughout Ohio. Since the program’s inception, more than $105,000 has been awarded to 30 different watershed groups across the state.

Western Reserve Land Conservancy is dedicated to land conservation and restoration, by preserving natural areas and working farms in 17 counties in northern and eastern Ohio. Wester Reserve also includes urban programs focused on clean and green urban centers.

“To date, the Land Conservancy has permanently preserved nearly 700 properties and more than 51,000 acres; led the efforts to create more than 45 county land banks across Ohio; and planted more than 3,500 trees in the City of Cleveland,” the release stated.

“The Friends of Scioto Brush Creek, Inc. is a local watershed group whose mission is to maintain and improve the water quality of Scioto Brush Creek through education, awareness and involvement of local residents. The watershed lies in Scioto and Adams Counties,” stated organization president Judy Newton-McCallister.

By Nikki Blankenship

[email protected]

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.