Blues, Brews, & BBQ Mill Creek Benefit Party!

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.

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Green Team Travels to The Grand Canyon

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.

Native Mussels Return to the Mill Creek

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!

ANNOUNCING Special Meetings

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 dschmitt@themillcreekalliance.org. 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, dschmitt@themillcreekalliance.org.

 Sharonville Convention Center, 11355 Chester Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45246

Sharonville Convention Center, 11355 Chester Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45246

Thank You for a Great Upper Mill Creek Cleanup!

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.

Green Team Visits Yellowstone National Park

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!

Tanner Yess Awarded the Murie Spirit of Conservation Award

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During a very special evening at the Murie Ranch of the Teton Science Schools in Grand Teton National Park our very own Tanner Yess received the Murie Spirit of Conservation Award for his work developing the Groundwork Green Team and Green Corps programs and engaging communities in making the Mill Creek Watershed a better place to work, play and live. Here, he is pictured with Bert Raynes, who received the Murie Award this year for lifetime achievement.

City Beat published an article about Tanner's award that you can read here.

Green Team Visits Grand Teton National Park for Work, Play, and New Adventures

Members of the Green Team had an incredible trip to Grand Teton National Par last week. They joined Groundwork US, Groundwork Atlant, and Groundwork New Orleans for eight nights of camping at the Gros Ventre campground.

After flying into the park on a Thursday (the first time on an airplane for many green teamers), the group spent some time setting up camp and getting oriented to the park, which included a discussion of bear safety. The air was dry and the nights were cold in the high desert of Jackson Hole, but they acclimated quickly.

The next day they toured the Murie Ranch Historic Distric with Docent Dan, who explained the history of the park, and this incredible couple who helped establish Grand Teton National Park, the Wilderness Act, and protect numerous wild areas. (Next week, Groundwork Cincinnati-Mill Cree deputy director, Tanner Yes, will be receiving the Murie Award at this same site.) They ate lunch overlooking the National Elk Refuge and learned about the migration of these creatures who at one time came close to being extirpated from this area. They visited the National Museum of Wildlife Ar and learned the impact that art has had on preservation and conservation.

Saturday included a boat ride across Jenny Lake and a scenic and challenging hike into Cascade Canyon. The group was accompanied by a park ranger, who helped spot pikas, marmots, a bear cub, and a moose, and identify other local flora and fauna. Many enjoyed bouldering, snacking on wild huckleberries, and the dramatic views of Grand Teton mountain.

Sunday the group traveled north to Yellowstone National Park, where they toured the prominent hydrothermal and geologic features such as Grand Prismatic Spring, The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and Old Faithful. They even got to see a larger geyser, Beehive, go off.

Monday was the first day of work with Grand Teton National Park Rangers. The group worked in the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserv installing new bike racks and trail brushing (clearing trail). Tuesday the group worked to complete the approximately 1.5-miles of trail brushing and spent their lunch by beautiful Phelps Lake, where gregarious chipmunks tried to steal their lunches.

Wednesday they hiked up to spectacular Inspiration Point and worked with the Grand Teton National Park trail crew to haul rocks and soil for new trail infrastructure. The trail crew lead estimated that the group moved 30,000 pounds of rock and 15,000 pounds of soil, and helped them complete a weeks' worth of work in one day! Everyone embraced the challenge wholeheartedly and worked together to accomplish an impressive amount of work.

Thursday they finished up work at the Preserve and worked on building new picnic tables. They said farewell to the rangers, then their week concluded with a ceremony recognizing their hard work and camaraderie.

The green teamers enjoyed new foods (eggplant, huckleberries), new activities (camping, using power tools), and new sights (mountains, moose). They enjoyed shopping in downtown Jackson Hole, spending time with new friends, and the learning a traditional native handgame from the Montana Conservation Corp, who were camping next door. Many Green Teamers expressed a desire to bring their families to the park, demonstrating how meaningful this experience was for them.

Check out an album of photos from this incredible trip here