Ohio Scenic Rivers Activity Book

Ohio Department of Natural Resources has released a new children's activity book to help guide stream exploration. Macroinvertebrates, often referred to simply as “bugs,” lack a backbone and are large enough to be seen by the naked eye. If you know where to look, it’s easy to spot crawdads and hellgrammites in Ohio streams. The activity booklet uses streams and the bugs that live in them as a way to engage young readers to learn biology concepts like life cycles, habitat, adaptations, and ecosystems.
Here are just a few of the fun facts found in the booklet:
- How do stonefly larvae breath underwater? They do “push-ups” to get more oxygenated water rushing past their gills.
- How do caddisfly larvae find shelter? They build tiny rock homes, and some carry them around like hermit crabs carry their shells.
- How do dragonflies find food? Most of their head is comprised of their eyes, an adaptation of a fierce predator that hunts for prey larger than itself.
The engaging activities are even more dynamic when paired with real-life stream exploration. We hope parents will join their children in trying to spot some of these important critters in a stream near them. Remember: Some bugs are more sensitive to pollution than others, so if you find any of those sensitive species, it’s an indication that the quality of your stream is good.

Northern Ohio Groups Using Collaboration, Federal Dollars to Clean Up Ohio’s Waters

Federal dollars are supporting a model for effective, regional collaboration to protect Ohio’s waters that can be replicated across Ohio and the nation. The Chagrin River Watershed Partners (CRWP), Western Reserve Land Conservancy and West Creek Conservancy (WCC) are utilizing funding to protect and enhance streams, rivers and lakes throughout northern Ohio.

In 2017, the groups received $200,000 in funding from the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program, which is supported through the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. The groups matched the grant with $200,000 of local in-kind contributions to support a regional collaboration of watershed organizations and land trusts to protect and steward healthy stream corridors that flow into Lake Erie.

“The Healthy Watersheds Consortium grant has enhanced the connections between northeast Ohio land trusts and watershed organizations, leading to on-the-ground protection of our streams and Lake Erie,” said Kimberly Brewster, Deputy Director at Chagrin River Watershed Partners. “This project has also given us a unique opportunity to learn from people who are working to protect watersheds across the Great Lakes Region and the entire nation, helping us develop innovative approaches and financing mechanisms being used in other areas that could also work here in Northeast Ohio.” Click here to read more


Master Rain Gardener 5-Week Course

“The course has exceeded my expectations going in. Your whole team has done an outstanding job preparing us for our individual Rain Garden projects.” – 2019 Master Rain Gardener Graduate
In collaboration with several conservation organizations in Northeast Ohio, Chagrin River Watershed Partners is offering the 5-week Master Rain Gardener course again in 2020. This course will teach you how to install rain gardens on a residential scale. Rain gardens naturally manage stormwater by infiltrating precipitation and allowing it to soak into the ground rather than sending it directly to storm sewers and nearby streams untreated. Experienced instructors will provide customized feedback which will enable you to design and install a rain garden. Topics will include site assessment, soil analysis, design, construction, plant selection, mulching, and maintenance. 
This five-week course is open to residents and landscape professionals in Northeast Ohio and can be taken in-person or online. Each course offers a two-track option, where participants can choose to receive a residential or a professional Master Rain Gardner certification. Both residential track and professional track graduates will receive a Master Rain Gardener t-shirt, yard sign, and a certificate of completion. Professionals will also have to option to be listed on a public website of Northeast Ohio Professional Master Rain Gardeners.
The next course will be offered in winter of 2021. Please contact Laura Bonnell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.


Healthy Forests for Healthy Streams

Healthy streamside forests help filter nutrients and sediment, shade and cool the water, and provide wildlife habitat. Check out this new video produced as part of a project funded in part by the Wildlife Conservation Society Climate Adaptation Fund to enhance the health of forests draining to high-quality streams in the Chagrin and lower Grand River watersheds.

Project partners and local funders include The Holden ArboretumCleveland MetroparksGeauga Park DistrictLake County Soil and Water Conservation District (Ohio)Lake County, OH: Stormwater Management DepartmentLake MetroparksWestern Reserve Land Conservancy - Dominion Energy mini-grant program, Village of Gates Mills, Village of Moreland Hills, Think Media Studios, Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve, Lake Erie Allegheny Partnership for Biodiversity, Cleveland Museum of Natural History Trout Club, and Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders.  See video below.

Forests in northeast Ohio provide many important values to communities including scenic beauty, recreation, stormwater management and flood…


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