Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Rural Action News

Two Ohio EPA 319 Grants Go to Rural Action Watershed Groups
Sunday Creek Watershed Group and Huff Run Watershed Restoration Partnership Will Use Funds to Restore Two Creeks in SE Ohio

Rural Action was awarded close to $385,000 in federal grants by the Ohio EPA last month. The grants will be implemented through a partnership between Rural Action watershed groups in Sunday Creek and Huff Run, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), and Ohio EPA. Sunday Creek was awarded more than $250,000 from Ohio EPA and Huff Run was awarded nearly $160,000. These funds will be matched by ODNR.

Both of the grants will restore creeks affected by acid mine drainage. In Sunday Creek, funds will be used to implement stream captures, gob pile caps and one or two treatment systems. In the Huff Run watershed, the funds will go toward eliminating six acidic impoundments, coal spoil, two abandoned mine drainage discharges and several acid seeps. Both grants also include support for education and outreach, including day camps and community tours and funding for pre-construction and post-construction monitoring.

(pictured above: The Thomas Project)
For Sunday Creek Watershed Group, this grant will initiate the 5th restoration project led by the organization, the West Branch Sunday Creek Headwaters Restoration Project, located in Perry County off of State Route 155 east of Shawnee. Building upon a decade of watershed restoration, the Huff Run Watershed Restoration Partnership will utilize the grant to restore the Thomas Reclamation Site, located in Carroll and Tuscarawas counties. The grants were awarded for a three year period and started on May 1.

According to an Ohio EPA press release, “Ohio EPA administers the grant program for U.S. EPA, distributing more than $3 million of federal money each year to projects proposed by local governments and community organizations such as watershed groups. To be eligible, grant recipients must contribute at least 40 percent local matching funds. The local match may consist of cash or in-kind contributions or services.”

Calling All Young Artists in Trimble Township!
Art Show will Showcase Youth Art in Downtown Glouster

Rural Action's Youth Act program is calling all young artists living in Trimble Township to submit their work for The Trimble Township Art Show, organized by VISTA Christine Far. Young artists between the ages of 8 and 18 are welcome to submit any form of art, including drawings, paintings, sculptures, collages, quilts, and creative writing (or anything else you can dream up!). The art will be displayed in show windows in downtown Glouster all summer. All artists participating will receive a FREE DAY at the Athens City Pool! Contact Christine, 740-767-4938 or for more info.

Awareness Day Field Trip Engages More Than 500 Students in the Huff Run Watershed
By Amber Leasure-Earnhardt, VISTA for Huff Run Watershed Restoration Partnership

Huff Run Watershed Restoration Partnership (HRWRP) hosted three separate Awareness Day Field Trips this May, bringing more than 500 students out into the watershed. This event has been an annual program for over ten years and this year was by far the largest Awareness Day HRWRP has hosted to date.
This year, students had the opportunity to visit a restoration site in the watershed, where they learned about water quality and performed pH tests on different types of water. They also got in the stream to collect and identify macroinvertebrates (bugs), and watched EPA officials do electrofishing so the students could identify the different types of fish that lived in their stream. The morning of Friday, May 9, five home school groups attended the first field trip, and Sandy Valley’s East Sparta Elementary fifth graders came that afternoon to get their feet wet. Carrollton’s Bell-Herron Middle School brought more than 200 seventh graders to venture out into the watershed on Friday, May 16. The final field trip was held on Friday, May 30; that brought Tusky Valley Middle School’s seventh graders out to enjoy the beautiful weather while learning about the watershed in their backyard. All in all, students were able to see firsthand why they should take care of their watershed while having a good time despite the cooler damp weather for the first two field trips.
Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio EPA, Carroll and Tuscarawas County Soil and Water Offices, Rural Action, Local Township Trustees, and HRWRP Members volunteered over 210 hours to make the field trips possible this year. Funding for the Awareness Days program was provided by the US EPA Targeted Watershed Grant. The popularity of this field trip is increasing every year due to the support from local schools and home school groups whose students have a great time and are challenged while they learn.

If you would like to help with this event next year or want to learn more contact Huff Run’s AmeriCorps VISTA, Amber Leasure-Earnhardt, at (330) 859-1050 or, or visit our website

Join Huff Run Watershed Restoration Partnership to Celebrate Summer
5K Walk/Run and Photo Contest to be held in August at Mineral City Party in the Park

Register now for exciting events taking place on August 17 to benefit the Huff Run Watershed Restoration Partnership (HRWRP), based in Mineral City, Ohio.

A 5K Run/Walk will contribute to the restoration of Huff Run. Prizes will be awarded to overall winners and first, second and third placing racers in each age category. The first fifty participants to register will receive a free t-shirt! Entry Fees: $12 registration before August 8, $15 on Race Day.

The races will start and end at the Mineral City Park on State Route 800, where the annual Mineral City Party in the Park will be taking place. This fun event includes live music, vendors, music, food, a car show, a small petting zoo, a kiddie tractor pull and more!

The Sixth Annual Huff Run Photo Contest will also take place this summer. Showcasing photographs of the Huff Run Watershed, the contest winners will be announced at the Party in the Park. The contest guidelines are listed below.

(pictured above: 2007 winner Judy Crilley's "Lonley Worker")

Huff Run Photo Contest Guidelines:
(Obtain official rules at the HRWRP office and the Huff Run website)
• Photos must be taken in the Huff Run Watershed.
• Cash prizes include $50 for first place, $30 for second place and $20 for third place. Honorable mentions will also be awarded.
• The contest is open to amateur photographers only.
• Color, digital and black & white prints are all accepted. A hard copy must be turned in.
• No digital imaging (alteration) but enhancing (re-coloring, changing contrast) is acceptable.
• All entries become property of the HRWRP and will not be returned.
• Entries must be turned in or postmarked before August 1, 2008. Winners will be announced at the Mineral City Party in the Park on August 17, 2008.
• Winning photos will be displayed at the Mineral City Party in the Park, at the Tuscarawas County Fair, in the HRWRP newsletter, the Huff Run website and other places where the HRWRP sets up displays.
• Always respect private property.
• For additional maps and suggestions of where to take pictures, contact the Huff Run office at 330-859-1050 or visit the website at

Join SCWG for Stream Sweep, Swim and Cookout

On Saturday, June 21, Sunday Creek Watershed Group (SCWG) will provide a great opportunity for the community to get involved with watershed restoration firsthand and be part of a statewide effort to clean up the Ohio River and its tributaries.

SCWG will join forces with the Village of Corning and the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission's (ORSANCO) Annual River Sweep. The ORSANCO event calls for volunteers across the Ohio River Valley to conduct litter pick-ups to help make improvements to water quality. According to ORSANCO, “River Sweep is a riverbank cleanup that extends the entire length of the Ohio River and beyond. More than 3,000 miles of shoreline will be combed for trash and debris. This is the largest environmental event of its kind and encompasses six states.”

As a tributary to the Ohio River, the Sunday Creek Watershed Group will pick up trash and litter in the Corning area from 10 a.m. to noon. Meet at the John Altier Park in Corning adjacent to the intersection of State Route 13 and 155 @ 10 a.m.

After the clean up the fun begins with a cookout and swim at the Congo Run Rope Swing on Scenic Road/Monroe Township Road 216, just across from the Rodger's Hollow Stream Capture Project Sign. Attendees will enjoy recreation in the watershed by trying out the rope swing and swimming hole. People will also have the opportunity to visit the completed Rodger's Hollow Project Site where SCWG recently planted 10,000 trees. Visiting the site will provide participants with a great example of the restoration work happening in the Sunday Creek Watershed.

SCWG will provide gloves, trash bags, food, beverages and a good time! For more information, contact Kaabe Shaw at 740-767-4938 or

Check out this great article from the Marietta Times about the Chesterhill Produce Action: "Area growers supply produce for auction"


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