Gardening for Clean Water Update 2016-1720160705_125402

Ohio EPA Office of Environmental Education notified Franklin Soil and Water that the project was recently reviewed and selected as an Outstanding Project.

These projects have done an exemplary job of reaching and educating their respective audience.  The evaluation of completed OEEF grant projects is conducted by independent reviewers to determine which projects have met OEEF’s highest standards for excellence and effectiveness in environmental education.  

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 Gardening for Clean Water is a grant-funded program designed to assist garden centers and nurseries with rain garden educational and technical assistance for their staff and customers as a means to promote practices that improve water quality in central Ohio.  The program was initially awarded $47,056 in 2012 from Ohio EPA’s Environmental Education Fund. Its funding period and activities took place in June 2012 through November 2014. Primary objectives included recruitment of nurseries, creation of training materials for garden centers, outreach, and ongoing support. The program currently involves optional education for nursery employees about stormwater pollution, an onsite store display, and rain garden plant tags. There is room for the program to expand its message to include responsible lawn care, gardening with native plants, and avoiding invasive species.

For 2016 Gardening for Clean Water realized three new partnerships this year including two Strader’s Garden Centers’ (East/Southeast and Grove City locations) and Darby Creek Nursery (Hillard). In total, there were seven participants:  Darby Creek Nursery, Dill’s Greenhouse, Oakland Nurseries-Columbus, Straders- East Broad, Straders-Grove City, Scioto Gardens, and Kurtz Bros.-Westerville.