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What Does A Soil And Water Conservation Agency Do? Here's A Chance To Find Out

Tana Weingartner

The soil and water conservation districts in Ohio's three largest counties are coming together this week for an annual meeting. It's the first time the districts in Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland have held their meetings jointly.

While soil and water conservation districts in rural areas tend to focus on agricultural issues, Hamilton County SWCD Executive Director John Nelson says the work in Hamilton, Franklin and Cuyahoga counties is more urban.

"We do a lot stormwater-related work, erosion, (and) hillside stability," says Nelson, "and there seems to be a common thread with other urban soil and water conservation districts as well."

Soil and water conservation districts are designed to preserve and conserve natural resources.

Education specialist Gwen Roth says people often mistakenly believe the districts are in charge of sewers or water works, "but we're really tasked with that conservation. As part of this annual meeting, we're having these three very urban counties come together and not only talk about what we've done and the future, but give people an opportunity to become involved and volunteer and learn more about their resources."

The three districts will share about their efforts from the previous year and discuss best practices and new initiatives.

"You'll really be able to, within an hour's time, understand what each area's challenge is and how we are handling these issues," explains Nelson. "Whether it be by stream stabilization programs, through our education programs in our classrooms, and also on our construction sites in terms of enforcement of earth work regulations."

The meeting is being held virtually on Zoom and is open to the public Thursday from 6-7 p.m. You'll find more information here.

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Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Most recently, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She served on the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Board of Directors from 2007 - 2009.