State Representative Gary Scherer (R-Circleville) has announced that the Ohio EPA recently awarded a $5,000 environmental education mini grant to the Fayette Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) for a city farm riparian (streamside) zone educational project.

The grant will provide seeds, tree protectors and educational signs for the re-vegetation/protection zone along Paint Creek to reduce nutrient loadings upstream from Washington Court House’s drinking water treatment plant.

Volunteers from local organizations will plant approximately five acres of trees and shrubs, as well as 12 acres of prairie grass, wildflower mix and cool season grasses. Students from two high school science clubs will join Fayette SWCD in monitoring water quality upstream and within the project area, sampling soils, and measuring tree and vegetative growth. They will also plot the data to the county’s Geographic Information Systems ARC Map.

“As a founding member of the Deer Creek Chapter of Pheasants Forever, I have seen the many benefits of Riparian Filter Strips in other areas,” said Rep. Scherer. “I am especially excited to make this announcement of a project that will provide a local demonstration of these benefits.”

The city of Washington Court House, Deer Creek Chapter of Pheasants Forever, Miami Trace Local School District, Washington Court House City School District, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry, and Washington Court House Tree Committee will collaborate on the project.

The Ohio Environmental Education Fund awards funding each year for environmental education projects for students of all ages as well as the general public.

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