We are thrilled to welcome Micah Johnson as our new Mill Creek Alliance Green Corps Manager! Micah comes to us with a wealth of experience in ecological restoration work. He has trained with NKU's Center for Environmental Restoration and helped lead the Green Corps at the Licking River Greenway restoration site for the past year. Micah has extensive experience in stream and watershed restoration, wetland management, invasive species control, surveying, and trail maintenance. He also has a wide range of valuable machine operation, maintenance, and carpentry skills, all of which will serve the growing Green Corps. Micah holds a BA in Geology and Environmental Science from NKU. He will be leading the Green Corps in the field on their full range of restoration projects and working to secure and manage contracts. He will also be leading the team as they continue the Northside Composts and Light Up Avondale projects. We are so excited to have Micah join our team!
On November 10, 2018, a group of over 30 volunteers wrapped up the sixth year of Mill Creek Citizen Water Quality Monitoring. This dedicated team samples and analyzes water from the Mill Creek and its tributaries each month to monitor water quality. For more information check out Streambank, which has data from all four of the regional programs, and the Mill Creek Alliance website which has extensive data on Mill Creek water quality collected from this program. A big THANK YOU to the volunteers, without whom this program would never be possible and thank you to all who came to celebrate at Westside Brewing on December 9! We’ll see you next year!
If you are interested in getting involved in this program please contact us!
On Thursday, November 29 Mill Creek Alliance hosted a ribbon cutting of the recently-completed Evendale Commons project at 2789 Cunningham Dr., 45241.
Thank you to all who attended the ribbon cutting for the Evendale Commons Restoration Project! This was truly a collaborative effort between Mill Creek Alliance, Village of Evendale, Anchor Properties, Sustainable Streams, Environmental Remediation Contractor, Ohio Public Works Commission, and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
The project improved nearly 2.5 acres of stream corridor. Funded through a Clean Ohio grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission and matching funds from the Village of Evendale, the project stabilized over 400 feet of actively eroding stream bank. The previously steep eroding banks were excavated and regraded to a more stable and gentle slope and secured at the base with rock. The newly-configured banks were seeded with wildflowers and planted with native shrubs and trees.
The previously over-widened main channel of the Mill Creek was reconfigured with a center channel for typical low-flow conditions and a wider floodplain to handle high-flow rain events. Additionally, a riffle, a group of large rocks was installed across a shallow part of the stream. The riffle creates a more gradual elevation change and more oxygen in the stream. The result is easier passage for fish and other aquatic species traveling up and down the Mill Creek.
Keep an eye out for informational signage that will be installed at the site soon!
If you are interested in seeing a project like this in your community contact us!
A big THANK YOU to all who came out in support of Mill Creek Alliance at our Blues, Brews, and BBQ Benefit Party! Urban Artifact hosted a great celebration with delicious BBQ from Vonderhaar's Catering Inc. and tunes from Chuck Brisbin Music that got us out on the dance floor. Thank you especially to our sponsors and to all those who donated via the silent and live auctions. We couldn't do our work to engage the community and youth in the restoration of the Mill Creek without you!! Check out some photos from this wonderful night.
Emeritus Mill Creek Alliance Board Member, collaborator, and tireless advocate for water quality in greater Cincinnati, Dr. Michael Miller, received the prestigious Ohio Water Hall of Fame Award at the luncheon of the Annual Meeting of Water Management Association of Ohio (WMAO) at the Duke Energy Center.
From the ceremony:
Dr. Michael Miller is hereby awarded the Ohio Water Hall of Fame Award for his leadership and tireless efforts to protect and improve water quality in Southwest Ohio. As a professor for close to 5 decades at the University of Cincinnati, he has instilled a love of aquatic systems in thousands of students who have gone on to pursue careers in water management. Dr. Miller has helped ot organize hundreds of cleanups on the Mill Creek and Great Miami Rivers, has been a champion of public education and has developed and implemented many successful programs and tools. Dr. Miller's commitment and passon has made a difference in our water resources.
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Miller!
In September, members of the Green Team had an amazing experience participating in Groundwork USA’s National Youth Summit at the Grand Canyon, serving as Youth Ambassadors for their Cincinnati trust. The first day was spent traveling to Phoenix, Arizona, where Youth Leaders and Ambassadors from almost all of Groundwork’s 20 national trusts met for the first time.
The next day, they drove four hours to Kaibab National Forest, where they set up camp. Then it was straight to the park to hear from the Executive Director of Groundwork USA about the importance of the work the youth are engaged in. Then, they learned how Groundwork USA plans to survey the youth about the impact that Groundwork has had on their lives. After these discussions, the youth hiked to the rim of the canyon. This was a very special occasion, as those who had not seen the Canyon before were led, with their eyes closed, to behold its grandeur at one moment. The day finished with dinner and a campfire.
The third day was filled with educational programming for both the Ambassadors and the Leaders. The Ambassadors learned about basic construction math, writing a compelling personal narrative, and how to use fasteners in construction. The Leaders learned about basic construction, using a grid system on a construction site, and facilitating the Green Team surveys. After the hard work of learning, the groups split up to enjoy the Park’s offerings and the sunset over the Grand Canyon.
The final day was an adventure day. They split into three groups to experience the Grand Canyon in different ways: a hike, a short bike ride, or a long bike ride. Each was difficult, but offered amazing vistas as a reward. After, they were rewarded with showers, dinner, and a last campfire.
On Saturday, September 13th, a low-head dam was removed from the Miami River in Williamsburg, and the native mussels living in the area were relocated for their safety. Many of these mussels were relocated to the Mill Creek, near Caldwell park. This marks an incredibly important milestone in the restoration of the Mill creek, as for the better part of a century the area had been too polluted and disturbed to support them. Now their presence will increase biodiversity within the watershed and help to speed the recovery of the Mill Creek.
Check out the news story published by Local 12 here!
The Mill Creek Alliance (MCA) has worked for over 20 years to restore and improve the Mill Creek Watershed and the quality of life for all of its residents. MCA invites you to a special Council of Communities’ meeting where elected officials and other community leaders can learn more about a crucial Mill Creek watershed issue that will impact all residents of the watershed.
The Millcreek Valley Conservancy District (District) has inherited responsibility for overseeing and maintaining many parcels of land along the Mill Creek from the US Army Corps of Engineers. While this in itself is an important and daunting task, the District would also like to acquire title or conservation easements to additional land in the watershed to utilize and manage for conservation, storm water, and flood water control purposes. This could extend many benefits to the stream and all of our communities.
Unfortunately, the Corps of Engineers does not provide funding to the District for these activities. Instead, the District is empowered by law to levy an assessment or property tax on property owners in the watershed in order to fund this necessary work. The proposed assessment must be approved by a Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge. The District is in the process of examining several options for the basis and structure of the assessment and would like to discuss it with as many community leaders as possible.
Since the Mill Creek Alliance is active throughout the watershed and has an existing Council of Communities structure in place, the District asked MCA to assist in arranging an opportunity for it to present its plans. Therefore, MCA has arranged two meetings:
October 18, 2018 4pm-6pm at the Sharonville Convention Center.
November 7, 2018 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm at Roberts Academy
Tim Gilday, Board Chair for the District, and representatives from the District’s engineering consultant, Stantec, will describe the District’s plans and answer questions from the public.
MCA hopes that you will be able to attend this special event, take advantage of the opportunity to network with many other community leaders, and learn more about the Mill Creek Watershed, the District and the potential assessment. For more information, you can call me at 513-731-8400 or email me at email@example.com. We look forward to seeing you on October 18th.
Please use the short statement below to share information about this meeting in your community. Feel free to link back to this NEWS Blog on the Mill Creek Alliance Website, where we will keep information updated as needed.
Join the Mill Creek Alliance (MCA), the Millcreek Valley Conservancy District (District), local government, residents, and local leaders for a special Council of Communities’ meeting to learn more about a crucial Mill Creek watershed issue that will impact all residents of the watershed.
The District acquires land in the watershed for conservation, storm water, and flood water control purposes. However, the Corps of Engineers does not fund these activities. Instead, the District may assess a property tax on property owners in the watershed. The proposed assessment must be approved by a Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge.
MCA has arranged meets to be held October 18, 2018 4pm-6pm at the Sharonville Convention Center and November 7, 2018 6:30pm-8pm at Roberts Academy. Tim Gilday, Board Chair for the District, and representatives from the District’s engineering consultant, Stantec, will describe the District’s plans and answer questions from the public.
Please attend this special meeting to learn more about the Mill Creek Watershed and the potential assessment. For more information, visit our website or contact MCA Executive Director, Dave Schmitt at 513-731-8400, firstname.lastname@example.org.
A big THANK YOU to all the volunteers who came out to clean up Twin Creek Preserve. This reconstructed wetland helps moderate and filter the flow of water where the East Fork Mill Creek flows into the main stem Mill Creek. The Green Corps led teams clearing invasive honeysuckle and pear while the Mill Creek Yacht Club hauled trash out of the creek. Thank you to our amazing partners, Smithfield Foods (who brought lunch and a team of volunteers, Rumpke, City of Sharonville, Springdale Public Works, Black & Veatch, Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, REI, Outdoor Adventure Clubs, Groundwork Richmond Virginia, and Groundwork USA. Be sure to keep in touch via our newsletter, facebook page, and website to see all upcoming events! You can see all the photos from the day here.
In August, members of the Green Team traveled to Yellowstone National Park with Groundwork youth from across the country. Trips like this are possible because Mill Creek Alliance is a trust of Groundwork USA, in partnership with the National Park Service. While at the park, the youth had the opportunity to check out the incredible geothermal and geologic features, including Mammoth Hot Springs and The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. They saw elk, bison, and pikas. While there they completed projects to benefit the park, including constructing a new woodshed and bear boxes. Check out some photos from their incredible trip!