Farewell Kris, and Good Luck!

Time flies, doesn’t it? Back in 2007, a brand new watershed organization was ready for staff and I was looking for part-time work. It was a great fit and as my kids grew so did the organization. Before I knew it, we were securing really big grants and I needed help so we hired more staff (and wow, was that an adjustment)! 10 years had passed, then 15 years, and now my kids are beginning to make their own way and headed off on new, big, adventures. And so am I.

By the time you read this, I’ll be embarking a new professional adventure too – as Program Administrator at the Ohio Lake Erie Commission. It’s time for me to make room for the next person to continue leading this great organization.

New adventures are exciting, hard, scary, and rewarding all at once. While leaving is really hard, the best part of Partners for Clean Streams has always been the people and that won’t change. It’s those people that truly make up PARTNERS for clean streams. From the Board that so quietly works behind-the-scenes (and sometimes lead cleanups and outreach tables too) to the financial partners that consistently provide reliable funding and in kind support to the many, many volunteers – you are each PARTNERS for clean streams. Without you, the long planning meetings, many grant applications, and long days packing supplies wouldn’t result in the huge impact in and near the rivers that we see every year. I may not have met each one of you personally, but thank you for being a Partner.

And to the staff, past and present, you are the ones whom I forget to thank, and that I relied on every day to put the to do lists and spreadsheets and random thoughts into action. You have all made PCS what it is day-to-day. Thank you for all your hard work and keep at it!

I know my departure will lead to some bumps and turbulence and for that I’m sorry, especially to the Board and staff. I hope it will all smooth out and that the thalweg will realign quickly (that’s stream speak for the middle, smoothest and fastest course of the stream)! I wish I could’ve thanked every past Board member, staff member, and consistent volunteer, but that just wasn’t possible (so hopefully you all read our newsletter and social media!).

I’ll still be around, in the “water world,” as I continue working on Lake Erie issues in a new way at the Ohio Lake Erie Commission so I hope our streams cross again. I will continue to watch the great work that Partners for Clean Streams is doing. This isn’t goodbye but I’ll see you around the next bend as we all work towards fishable, swimmable, and drinkable water.

– Kris Patterson, March 2024

Volunteer Scientists Needed!

Want to become a scientist this summer? With our NEW program partnership with Community Water Action Toledo (CWAT) you can! Starting in April, we need your help with the data collection of water quality parameters of 24 sites across four Northwest Ohio waterways. Sign up now!!

The sampling season runs from April 2024 – October 2024, and volunteers are asked to make a twice-a-month commitment throughout the full season to collect vital data. Volunteers will choose their desired route out of 7 options, receive training on our equipment and sampling protocol, and then use a digital probe to collect vital data about the health of local streams at each of the site locations listed under the chosen route.

Just as you go to the doctor for a checkup on heart rate, blood pressure and blood tests, the same monitoring needs to be done for our water. The water quality parameters that will be tested include pH, Temperature, Dissolved Oxygen (DO) and Conductivity, and the data from these factors will tell us a lot about the health of our waters and if there needs to be any investigations into underlying or unusual issues. Consistent and frequent monitoring will ensure that we understand the “normal” conditions of each water way and are able to catch any red flags in the quality and prevent future deteriorations. Check out the 24 sites!

Lawn Care Tips

After getting a glimpse of some warmer weather, we can’t wait for spring to get here! With those warmer months coming up, it’s time to start thinking about lawn care.

Here are some tips and best practices to follow to ensure a healthy and beautiful landscape while also protecting our waterways:

  • Mow high and keep your lawn at a height of three inches; a slightly taller lawn requires less fertilizer and water to stay healthy.
  • Have your soil tested to determine fertilizer needs. More information on testing kits can be found here.
  • Use mulching blades on your mower and leave the grass clippings on the lawn; this returns valuable nutrients to the soil.
  • May and September are the best times to fertilize lawns, if you are going to, when cool season grasses are actively growing.
  • Don’t apply fertilizer when rain and/or wind are in the forecast.
  • Avoid fertilizing near streams, ditches, hard surfaces, and slopes.
  • Clean up fertilizer granules if accidentally spread onto hard surfaces.

Traditional lawn care management is typically not so eco-friendly and sustainable. By implementing these tips and tricks we’ve provided, it’s a great step in the right direction to bettering the health of ourselves as well as the planet!

T-Shirt Sale with Jūpmode!

Need to add to your spring and summer wardrobe? Love water? We’re partnering with Jūpmode to bring you the perfect t-shirt to add to your collection! Pre-order your shirts here now!

We are honored to be in the spotlight for Jūpmode’s Community Shirt this month. Every other month, they pick a different charity or non-profit organization that they think is positively impacting the community and help them raise money to support their mission through a t-shirt sale. For the entire month of March, these shirts will be available for and only a handful available for purchase in-store. So, make sure to get your orders in before the end of March, as these will no longer be available after the month is over!

One part of our mission at PCS is striving for rivers, streams and lakes that are clean, clear and safe. In other words, Fishable, Swimmable and Drinkable Waters! To drive home this aspect of our mission, we’ve chosen to highlight some of the species that depend on the health of our waters on the shirt. You’ll find the Great Blue Heron, a pair of Walleye, and the White-tailed Deer, who are also accompanied by a kayaker, to showcase how all living things in Northwest Ohio rely on great water quality.

Thank you again to Jūpmode for recognizing the importance of our mission and our hard work towards Fishable, Swimmable and Drinkable Waters! We would love to see everyone’s new looks in these shirts, so make sure to take a picture and tag our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!