Who’s Minding the Planet?

Who’s Minding the Planet?  

For nearly twenty years, YSI has been inviting answers to the important question: "Who’s Minding the Planet?"

This week, YSI employees answered with a resounding “We are!” when our local river steward network mobilized a full week of fun and impact on the Little Miami River.

At our YSI/Xylem site in Yellow Springs, Ohio, we are passionately protective of our local Little Miami River, Ohio’s first State Scenic River, and Ohio’s only river to be protected in its entirety.

Little Miami River.jpg

Little Miami River in Sugarcreek Township, Ohio

When posed the challenge to show the world how we Make Our Mark during the Xylem Watermark 30-Day Challenge between World Water Day and Earth Day, protecting the Little Miami River watershed was never a question.  The question we asked ourselves was: “How much can we accomplish together?” 

Though Earth Day 2017 is just around the corner, we realized one day was just not enough time to celebrate our beloved Little Miami River.  We had a better idea:  YSI Earth Week! 

On Monday, we invited Krista Magaw, Executive Director of Tecumseh Land Trust (TLT), to visit YSI for a Lunch & Learn.

Krista Magaw Director of Tecumseh Land Trust.jpg

Krista Magaw, Executive Director of Tecumseh Land Trust, at Whitehall Farm in Yellow Springs.  Photograph by Whitney Vickers, Civitas Media.

Krista taught us about the important work of TLT to protect and preserve agricultural land, water resources, natural areas, and historic sites in the Greene and Clark Counties of Ohio and surrounding areas.  YSI employees left feeling inspired by TLT’s work and looking forward to opportunities for volunteer partnerships in the Little Miami River sub-watershed later this year.

On Tuesday, we joined the Ohio Department of Natural Resources at the Caesar Creek Canoe Access to the Little Miami River for everyone’s favorite activity:  invasive species removal.  In Southwest Ohio, invasive species like garlic mustard and bush honeysuckle outgrow our native trees and shrubs.  Nowhere is the impact of these invasive species more adverse than along our stream banks, where these plants threaten to destabilize the bank, leading to bank erosion, runoff, and impacted water quality.

In just three hours, YSI volunteers removed a large portion of the garlic mustard and honeysuckle at Caesar Creek Canoe Access, opening up the land for native plants to regrow.  As you travel along the Little Miami River, you can see where invasive species removal by volunteers has been successful by the abundant growth of Southwest Ohio wild flowers! 

Heather Brooks and Zach Ewing pulling garlic mustard at Caesar Creek Canoe Access.jpg

Heather Brooks and Zach Ewing pulling garlic mustard at Caesar Creek Canoe Access

Greg Popp cutting honeysuckle at Caesar Creek Canoe Access.jpg

Greg Popp cutting honeysuckle at Caesar Creek Canoe Access

YSI Watermark volunteers at Caesar Creek Canoe Access to the Little Miami River.jpg

YSI Watermark volunteers at Caesar Creek Canoe Access to the Little Miami River

On Wednesday, we joined Mike Schumacher of the Little Miami Watershed Network for another important task:  applying storm drain medallions.

Little Miami Watershed Network storm drain medallions.jpg

Little Miami Watershed Network storm drain medallions

These medallions remind residents within the Little Miami River watershed and sub-watersheds that anything they dump down the storm drain ends up in the river and that they can help us protect the Little Miami watershed by ensuring that no unwanted pollutants make it to the storm drains in their neighborhood. 

Tony Brewer reminds us to keep the Little Miami Watershed Clean!.jpg

Tony Brewer reminds us to keep the Little Miami Watershed Clean!

YSI Watermark volunteers at Bellbrook Sugarcreek Parks District after applying storm drain medallions.jpg

YSI Watermark volunteers at Bellbrook Sugarcreek Parks District after applying storm drain medallions

On Thursday, we rounded out our week of impact by helping the Bellbrook Sugarcreek Parks District remove litter and farm debris from Morris Reserve, a newly acquired reserve along the Little Miami River that, with our help this week, will be open to the public for water education and recreation tentatively in Spring 2018.

Ed Hammer, Elyse Rosengarten, and Aftab Barki proudly pose behind the garbage removed from the park by the twelve Watermark volunteers..jpg

Ed Hammer, Elyse Rosengarten, and Aftab Barki proudly pose behind the garbage removed from the park by the twelve Watermark volunteers.

YSI Watermark volunteers remove litter and farm debris from Bellbrook Sugarcreek Parks District Morris Reserve along the Little Miami River..jpg

YSI Watermark volunteers remove litter and farm debris from Bellbrook Sugarcreek Parks District Morris Reserve along the Little Miami River.

In total, 30 YSI employees volunteered 90 hours in their community in just one week!

As the Watermark Ambassador for Xylem Analytics, I am invigorated by the passion and commitment that my colleagues at YSI showed this week, and I am looking forward to continuing our engagement in the Little Miami River watershed as our Watermark program continues to grow.

Of course, none of the impact we had this week would have been possible without our awesome non-profit partners, who tirelessly dedicate their knowledge, time, and passion to protecting our local natural resources and empowering our community to do the same.

So, when you ask me this Earth Day 2017, “Who’s Minding the Planet?” my answer is “YSI is…  Tecumseh Land Trust is…  Ohio Department of Natural Resources is…  Little Miami Watershed Network is…  Bellbrook Sugarcreek Parks District is… I am… You are… WE ALL ARE, TOGETHER.”

In the month between World Water Day, March 22, and Earth Day, April 22, Xylem employees all around the world were challenged during the Xylem Watermark 30-Day Challenge to show the world all the ways that they are involved in solving water issues.  Along the way, we have been sharing stories of river clean-ups, beach clean-ups, Walks for Water, children’s water education, and more from all around the world at XylemWatermark.com and on Xylem Watermark Facebook and Twitter.  We encourage you to visit the website, read some stories, and reach out to your local Xylem site and join us in our next volunteering opportunity in your community!

 

Jessica Clemmons

Associate Scientist

Watermark Ambassador

Xylem Analytics

Jessica.clemmons@xyleminc.com

 

 

Additional Blog Posts of Interest

Comparing the YSI ProDSS vs EXO Water Quality Meters​

Life After Deepwater Horizon | Remediation Efforts on the Gulf of Mexico

The Evolution of Water Quality Monitoring [Free eBook]

Oregon's Tualatin River: America's Early TMDL Case Study

 

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Your teams rocks!

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