The Watershed Volunteer Program (WVP), offered through the Natural Resources Division of Cleveland Metroparks, is an effort to engage residents in an array of active management projects to improve watershed conditions. The program promotes stewardship through learning opportunities, restoration projects, and monitoring activities.
The program's total participation for 2016 included 268 volunteers contributing 1511 hours, bringing the overall totals since WVP was initiated in September 2012 to 1147 volunteers contributing 10,410 hours.
Highlights of 2016 include:
- In December, WVP stewards and staff gathered to celebrate the fifth year of the program. The Founding Watershed Stewards (those active since Sept 2012) and those most active in 2016 were recognized with awards.
- Monday MeetUps launched in September 2016. These monthly gatherings bring together WVP participants, general public, college students, and watershed organization members to visit each watershed and learn about the community organization associated with them. Refreshments and networking time are provided.
- Water stewards are in action helping to identify spills in waterways and sharing their watershed moments beyond their volunteer time, including stream cleanups, locally published articles, and a social media effort of program awareness. Search #NEOWaterSteward to see what they are sharing.
- Day in the Life of Euclid Creek was held in July with 83 attendees exploring life along the creek as well as identifying a grease spill from a nearby restaurant.
- In addition to Day in the Life of Euclid Creek, WVP was present at several community outreach events including Backyard Biodiversity Bash at the Watershed Stewardship Center, Bioblitz and Lyceum Series at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, NEORSD Open House, and Kent State Water Symposium.
- Lisa Meranti joined the team in June 2016 as the Watershed Volunteer Coordinator after a 7-month vacancy of the position.
Download the full WVP 2016 Annual Report.