Currents | October 2017

Did you know that the Great Lakes are the biggest freshwater source in the world? Lake Erie is the most productive for fishing of all the Great Lakes. Your support helps make our streams clean, clear and healthy so they can support this complex ecosystem. By donating to PCS, you help us reach our goals of restoring rivers that lead to Lake Erie beaches that promote fishable and swimmable conditions for generations.

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ChallengeAwardsThe competition was fierce for the Challenge Awards this year at Clean Your Streams Day. During the Appreciation Picnic, groups and organizations entered to see who would win the three prestigious awards for each category. For the corporate competition, First Solar again retained the title of “Watershed Warrior” with 73 volunteers. O-I earned the “River Guardian” 3-star award with 32 volunteers. Both Hull & Associates and Civil & Environmental Consultants earned the “Stream Protector” award with 25 and 15 volunteers, respectfully. Our “Creek Crusaders” this year were the Mannik & Smith team with 8 volunteers and HSN with 5.

In the organizational River Partner category, several groups earned awards for number of participants. In the 2-star, “Stream Protector” level, Ohio EPA (20 volunteers), Toledo Environmental Services – Water Recreation Department (16 volunteers), and Monroe Street United Methodist Church (13 volunteers) all took home awards. UT’s Safety and Health division and the Toledo Waterways Initiative tied for the “Creek Crusader” award with 8 volunteers each.

The Collegiate Challenges were swept by Lourdes University and University of Toledo. In the Battle of the Bags award, Lourdes University took home the trophy for most trash collected at 32 bags. The UT American Society of Civil Engineers came through strong with the Most Volunteers at 18 participants. And, in the Awesome Effort category for most bags collected per person, Lourdes University dominated the competition at 6.40 bags/person.

In the final category for Youth Challenges, there were several groups that vied for each award. The YWCA Northwest Ohio Teen Outreach Program crushed the competition in Battle of the Bags with 95 bags of trash collected. Toledo Early College High School (TECHS) recruited 114 participants, winning the Most Volunteers Award. Finally, Boy Scout Troop 110 took home Awesome Effort Award for an average of 5 bags of trash/person. We want to thank all our groups and organizations that participated in the Challenge Awards and encourage them to come back next year! Oh, and don’t forget to bring back your roving trophy if you won 1st place in a Youth or Collegiate competition!

CYS365With Clean Your Streams 365, the cleanup doesn’t have to end in September! CYS 365 is a small-scale version of the annual Clean Your Streams Day and is available to any group or organization interested in doing their own cleanup throughout the year. We currently have three cleanups scheduled for October. Promedica has scheduled a cleanup at Otsego Park this month. Granger Island at Farnsworth Park is another site that will benefit from a cleanup by First Lego League team members from Sylvania. Owens Community College also has a scheduled cleanup later in the month as part of their Make a Difference Day. If you were unable to participate in this year’s Clean Your Streams Day, or are interested in continuing your efforts to keep our waterways debris-free, contact Partners for Clean Streams to schedule your own CYS 365.

SDMThe trash and debris that is found during Clean Your Streams Day often unintentionally ends up in the waterways through storm drains. Storm drains are designed to carry only rainwater into streams and rivers, yet they often carry detritus, too. Without proper maintenance, trash and leaves can end up clogging our storm drains and creating problems. If you live near a storm drain, it is important to make sure that no trash or other materials are blocking it from functioning properly and inevitably carrying debris into our waters. Wet leaves especially can make it difficult for storm water to flow into the drains and reduce potential flooding. The first step to proper storm drain maintenance is being aware of where they are located. Each Spring, PCS encourages volunteers to assist in marking storm drains, so they are visible in the community and easy to identify.

The falling leaves this time of year are a beautiful sight but can create some confusion as to how to dispose of them. If you are unsure what the protocols are for leaf piles and pickup, check with your municipality for instructions. Some cities and town offer curbside pickup, while other residents are responsible for the dissemination of their property’s leaf piles. Most municipalities offer specific dates for leaf collection pickups that are separate from trash and recycling days.

But before you throw away or burn the leaves in your yard, consider the benefit they can bring your grass in the Spring. Dead leaves are an excellent form of compost and can decrease the need to use fertilizers on your lawn. The leaves on a single shade tree can save you $50 worth of plant food if properly composted. Leaves contain twice as many minerals as manure. With their deep roots, trees absorb the minerals from the soil that then spreads to their leaves. Here are some tips for making the most out of your dead leaves. First, shredding or grinding the leaves help them decompose faster and more efficiently. Adding nitrogen (1 part nitrogen to 4 parts leaves) increases the nutrient absorption for your grass. Turning the shredded leaves every three days helps to keep them from saturating the ground, especially after rain. Also, covering the pile with a plastic sheet traps the warmth and helps retain ideal moisture levels. So don’t let a good thing go to waste, keep some of your leaves now and your lawn will thank you later!

Currents: October 2017

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Terry Shankland
President of the Board
Private Citizen

Andrew Curran
Vice President
Assistant Scout Executive,
Boy Scouts of America

Colleen Dooley
Attorney, Private Practice

Kyle Spicer
Private Citizen

Deanna Bobak
Board Member
Private Citizen

Denise Fonner
Board Member
Private Citizen

Jeff Gibbs
Board Member
Private Citizen

Joan King
Board Member
Private Citizen

Chris Smalley
Board Member
Park Services Supervisor
Metroparks of the Toledo Area

Patrick Lawrence, Ph.D.
Past President of Board (non-voting)
Associate Dean, College of Arts & Letters
University of Toledo

Partners for Clean Streams Inc. is striving for abundant open space and a high quality natural environment; adequate floodwater storage capacities and flourishing wildlife; stakeholders who take local ownership in their resources; and rivers, streams and lakes that are clean, clear and safe