So, what is a watershed? The United States Environmental Protection Agency defines it as “ that area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community.”
The Leading Creek Watershed is defined as 150 square miles of diversely woven landscapes, including rolling hills and rich history found in Meigs and Gallia Counties. Five of the seven townships the watershed is located in are found in Meigs which stands to benefit from these recent grant awards.
Karla Sanders, AmeriCorps volunteer with the Leading Creek Watershed, said one of the grants recently approved was a $1,500 grant from the Ohio Humanities Council which will partially fund a book on the watershed’s history.
“We can at least get started,” Sanders said, explaining volunteers still have to find another $500 to cover projected expenses for the project which can begin immediately, hopefully wrapping up in the fall.
A scholar from the OHC will also be training volunteers on how to interview those who live in the watershed who wish to share their stories of the life and history of the area. The OHC is a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Sanders also said the main goal of the book is to educate people about the history and culture of the watershed, including places that no longer exist such as the Meigs County Infirmary as well as homes and stories in the smaller towns of Western Meigs County. Photos and art work will also be used. Sanders is currently looking for people who wish to share their stories with the local group of volunteers collecting the information. Call her at her office at the Meigs Soil and Water Conservation District at 992-4282.
Another grant which was received by the watershed is the $4,930 Ohio Environmental Education Fund mini-grant to fund the new Leading Volunteers Monitoring Program, a volunteer monitoring program to improve conditions in the Leading Creek Watershed and strengthen environmental education in the area. This grant will fund equipment for volunteers to do chemical testing of water samples from streams, assist in litter clean up events, etc.
In addition a grant awarded from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the 2010 Litter Clean Up Grant, will support spring events such as Annual Stream Sweep, a Universal Electronics Waste Collection Day, and a Composting Workshop. The stream sweep and electronics clean up day is set for 9 a.m.-noon, April 17 at Jim Vennari Park in Rutland. Supplies will be provided to volunteers participating in the sweep and old electronics will be taken and recycled — no televisions accepted. The free composting workshop will be held 6-8:30 p.m. on April 22 at the OSU Extension Office.
For more information on the watershed, go to www.meigsswcd.com.