Conservation

Conservation Education

 Ripples on water on top of a blue background. The text says THE RIPPLE Cincinnati Nature Center Conservation News

Just as ripples spread when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching impact. The Ripple is a special newsletter created by Cincinnati Nature Center for people who want ideas, insights, and inspiration to act in support of nature and the environment. 

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. — Margaret Mead 

Issue 4 | September 2022

Don't Miss the Next Common Good Gathering!

Wednesday, September 21, 6:30-8:30 pm

Want to know what the buzz is about? Then don't miss the next Common Good Gathering. This facilitated experience connects you to others who want to take action for conservation. The best way forward, as our facilitator and guide Peter Block says, may be through relationship-based action at a local level. Come see what that means and discuss what matters most to YOU. The next gathering is Wednesday, September 21, 6:30-8:30 pm in the Groesbeck Lodge. In total there will be six gatherings, and you can join at any time. 

Click here to RSVP.

Click here to see notes from the first two meetings. 

 

Learn More to Do More

Have you ever played Cranky Uncle? It’s a game to help you identify logical fallacies. Check it out here.

 

Don’t be fooled by disinformation. Learn how to inoculate yourself and your communities against it with this article from the Union of Concerned Scientists

 

Book Discussion Group

Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World by Katharine Hayhoe

 

The group will meet 10-11:30 am Tuesdays on November 1, 8, 15, 29, and December 6 and 13 at Cincinnati Nature Center’s Rowe Woods. Participation is free, though you need to provide your own copy of the book. Space is limited to 10 people. To participate, contact Connie O’Connor at coconnor@cincynature.org.

 

Conservation Changemakers Speaker Series (Online) FREE! 

 

Get ready to think about conservation in new and different ways! Be inspired as you hear from compelling speakers who are changing the conversation about our environment, making an impact in their communities, and thinking about how to make nature more accessible and equitable for all.

 

To learn more and to register, click here

 

Actions You Can Take

Faith Communities Go Green partners with religious communities to create a more sustainable and equitable future. Learn how you can help your congregation go green by clicking here.

 

Volunteer Opportunities

Cincinnati Nature Center offers many opportunities for volunteerism. Click here to learn more about volunteering at Cincinnati Nature Center.

 

Civic Garden Center:

Volunteer facilitators are needed for Compost Kids field trips for students in grades K–6. Field trips are once a week in September and October on Tuesday mornings. Contact Ellie Falk, Youth Education Coordinator, at efalk@civicgardencenter.org.

 

Ohio River Foundation - Habitat Restoration

September 11, October 2, October 9, November 5, November 12

Volunteers needed to remove harmful invasive honeysuckle and Callery pear at various locations by using handsaws/trimmers on small plants and trees. For more information, email Jessica Tegge at jtegge@ohioriverfdn.org or call/text (513) 289-6884.

 

Cincinnati Parks

September 11, September 24, October 22

Volunteers needed to use handsaws and loppers to cut honeysuckle bushes and porcelain vine. Volunteers will also work behind chainsaw operators to drag cut honeysuckle to a chipper or to lay on the forest floor. For more details or questions, contact Christyl at christyl.johnson-roberts@cincinnati-oh.gov, or text or call (513) 240-5735. To register, click here

 

Hamilton County Conservation District 

Saturday, September 17, 9 am-12 pm 

Each year, many partners and hundreds of volunteers come together to clean up the Great Miami River at sites from the Ohio River to Indian Lake north of Dayton. Volunteers are needed Saturday, September 17, 9 am-12 pm at Heritage Park. For more information and to register, click click here

 

Cincinnati Museum Center

Ann Wegman, Live Animal Exhibits Manager, needs volunteers to help with feeding animals, cleaning enclosures, and performing animal demos. Flexible with times and days. Contact Ann at awegman@cincymuseum.org

 

MetroParks of Butler County

Thursdays, September 15, October 20, November 17, 9 am-11:30 am

Each third Thursday of the month, volunteers can support MetroParks staff at Voice of America MetroPark by assisting with weeding, mulching, picking up litter, and more. To register, click here or contact Volunteer Manager Elise Moeller at emoeller@yourmetroparks.net

 

Cincinnati Recycle and Reuse Hub

Sunday, September 18, 11 am-2 pm

Volunteers needed for a wide variety of tasks. To sign up, click here. For more information, click here.  

 

Warren County Park District Fall Festival

Saturday, October 1, 11 am-5 pm

Warren County Park District is looking for Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalists to help with events during the Fall Festival at Hisey Park in Waynesville. If interested, email mothernaturesclassroom@gmail.com by September 29. 

 

Clermont County Parks

Saturday, October 22, 9 am-12 pm

 

Make a Difference Day at Shor Park. Volunteers will be giving the existing rain garden a tune up; please bring garden gloves and shovels if you have them. More details can be found on the Clermont County Parks Facebook Page.

 

Are You Social Media Savvy?

Cincinnati Nature Center is looking for an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist to help with its OCVN Facebook page. If you're interested, email Connie O’Connor at coconnor@cincynature.org.

 

News from Your Peers

Learn how other Nature Center members are making a difference, overcoming obstacles, and forming connections through service. If you would like to tell your story about an environmental issue, action, or cause in which you are working to make a difference, you may submit your blog for consideration to Connie O’Connor at coconnor@cincynature.org. Keep it short and send photos. Maybe we will use your piece next time!

 

Give Us Your Feedback

You're receiving this action-oriented newsletter because either you signed up for it after completing the Cincinnati Nature Center survey or because you are a graduate of the Nature Center’s Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist program.

 

If someone forwarded you this newsletter, and you want to become a regular subscriber, click here

 

If you have suggestions for content or have other input, feel free to contact Director of Applied Learning Connie O’Connor at coconnor@cincynature.org.

Issue 3 | August 2022

Don't Miss the Next Common Good Gathering! 

Wednesday, August 17, 6:30-8:30 pm

Want to know what the buzz is about? Then don't miss the next Common Good Gathering. This facilitated experience connects you to others who want to take action for conservation. The best way forward, as our facilitator and guide Peter Block says, may be through relationship-based action at a local level. Come see what that means and discuss what matters most to YOU. The next gathering is Wednesday, August 17, 6:30-8:30 pm in the Groesbeck Lodge (no pizza this timeeat before you come or bring a snack).  

 

Click here to RSVP.

Volunteer Opportunities

Cincinnati Nature Center offers many opportunities for volunteerism. Click here to learn more about volunteering at Cincinnati Nature Center.

 

Mill Creek Alliance:

Thursday, August 11, 7:30-10:30 am

Join us for a pop-up invasive removal and clean-up at 3368 Mill Creek Rd. Meet at the yellow bridge to prepare for a tree planting that will take place the following week with General Electric. Click here to register.

Saturday, September 24

Volunteers comfortable with iNaturalist are needed to participate in our bio blitz as both observers and fact-checkers during the Run the Riffles event. You may come to the event or participate from home as you check the accuracy of visitors’ identifications on iNaturalist. Click here to learn more. 

Saturday, October 29

Sign up for our volunteer clean-up of Mill Creek by boat. We are looking for those who want to glitter up Mill Creek by removing litter from our freshwater watershed by canoe. For more information and to register, click here.

Fall Weekdays

Volunteers are needed to assist school groups with macroinvertebrate seining, chemical testing of water, birding, engineering calculations, and/or fishing. A curriculum will be provided for naturalists ahead of time. No experience is needed, just enthusiasm and the joy of learning. If interested, email Johnny Dwyer at jdwyer@themillcreekalliance.org.  


Learn More to Do More (Trainings and Discussions)

Book Discussion Group: Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet 
Thursdays, Sept 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 3-4:30 pm at Rowe Woods
This last book by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us that there’s one thing we all have the power to change, and that is our mind. Our way of looking, seeing, and thinking determines every choice we make, the everyday actions we take or avoid, how we relate to those we love or oppose, and how we react in a crisis. This is a practical way through anxiety and fear and into a space where we can be of service to community. Space is limited to 10 people, facilitated by Cincinnati Nature Center member Chris Lottman. There is no charge, but you will need to find a copy of the book and you must be a member or pay non-member admission at the gate for each visit. To participate, contact Chris directly at lottmaca@ucmail.uc.edu. 
 
Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist Program 
You may know someone who is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist (OCVN). At Cincinnati Nature Center, more than 450 people have graduated from this Ohio State University extension program, and gone on to volunteer to support our state’s natural resources. It’s a wonderful way to learn more about nature and to empower you to be a more confident volunteer. Cincinnati Nature center will offer this course again in fall. Click here to learn more about the Fall 2022 session of our OCVN course.
 

Other Educational Opportunities

Here are some resources for new ideas about ways to take action and to communicate with others. Click the name of each one for more details.

News from Your Peers

Learn how other Nature Center members are making a difference, overcoming obstacles, and forming connections through service. If you would like to tell your story about an environmental issue, action, or cause in which you are working to make a difference, you may submit your blog for consideration to Connie O’Connor at coconnor@cincynature.org. Keep it short and send photos. Maybe we will use your piece next time!


Give Us Your Feedback 

You're receiving this action-oriented newsletter because either you signed up for it after completing the Cincinnati Nature Center survey or because you are a graduate of the Nature Center’s Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist program. If you want to unsubscribe, please click here. 

If you have suggestions for content or have other input, feel free to contact Director of Applied Learning, Connie O’Connor at coconnor@cincynature.org. 

Issue 2 | July 2022

Each one of us can make a difference. Together, we make change. – Barbara Mikulski

You Are Invited to Our First Common Good Gathering

Tuesday, July 12, 6-8 pm, Rowe Woods

All of us are called to play a more compelling part in caring for this planet and its inhabitants—we hope you will join us for our first Common Good Gathering. 

Cincinnati Nature Center is made up of people—staff, volunteers, members, visitors —including you. What holds us together is a shared love of nature and care for the land, not just for ourselves, but for future generations. While we work to create healthy ecosystems, learning opportunities, and inspiring experiences on our sites, we realize that conservation extends beyond our property line and into communities like yours.  

If you’d like to share insights from your community, connect with others, or get inspired for conservation action, we invite you to join us for a learning and listening session on Tuesday, July 12 from 6–8 pm. We will be joined by author Peter Block, who will engage us in a facilitated experience to co-create ideas, working groups, and next steps for action. Plus, there will be pizza! 

Click here to RSVP by July 10.

More about our facilitator: 

Peter’s work is in the restoration of the common good and creating a world that reclaims our humanity. To find out more, see www.peterblock.com   

Designed Learning, Inc. offers training and consulting in Flawless Consulting and Leader as Convener. 

Common Good Collective is an initiative that makes accessible the foundational practices for restoring the common good.


Volunteer Opportunities

Cincinnati Nature Center offers many opportunities for volunteerism. Click here to learn more about volunteering at Cincinnati Nature Center.

Ohio State Fair Volunteer Opportunities with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources

July 27-August 7

The ODNR Natural Resources Park is a must stop for the young and old alike who attend the Ohio State Fair. We could not have such a successful park without the support and help of our valuable volunteers! This is a great opportunity for Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalists seeking volunteer hours. 

Details about available shifts and each particular location are below. Please contact Rob Lucas for more information about these needs. Rob can be reached via email at robert.lucas@dnr.ohio.gov or by phone at (614) 265-6435.

Kayak Pond

The kayak pond's main purpose is to enable youth and their parents/guardians the experience of paddling a kayak. We need to fill two shifts with OCVNs and paid staff. All workers will receive fair and parking admission and a commemorative shirt.

  • Kayak Pond Registration: Kayak pond registration duties will include registering the public for a 30 minute kayak program by having them reserve a time, sign a waiver, and put on a wristband. Time slots are 9:30 am to 2 pm or 1:30 pm to 6 pm.
  • Kayak Pond Launch, Debark, and Pond Monitors are needed from 10 am-2:30 pm and 2:30 pm to 7 pm. 

Virtual Reality (VR) Kayak/Standup Paddleboard Experience

Our brand new Virtual Reality Kayak/Standup Paddleboard Experience allows fairgoers that don't want to get wet in the kayak pond to experience the fun of kayaking or standup paddleboarding...virtually! Duties include line manager as well as two VR operators. Training will be provided for OCVNs and paid staff with previous VR experience or paddling instructor experience. Timeslots available are 10 am-3 pm and 2:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

Camper Village

New this year is an expanded Camper Village with our renovated Nature Center and examples of what camping opportunities visitors to Ohio State Parks can experience. We need your help in manning a table with state park and rental getaway brochures as well as monitoring the camper, yurt, and camping tent which will be staged as camping venues. Time slots available are 10 am-3 pm and 2:30 pm to 7 pm.

Green Umbrella offers an even broader perspective of environmental efforts and volunteer opportunities in the region. Click here to subscribe to their newsletter


Job Opportunities

The Indian Hill Nursery School is seeking a fun, upbeat, and passionate naturalist to join their preschool community. Environmental values form at early age when children spend a lot of time outdoors.  Help children develop these values at the Indian Hill Church Nursery School by joining our team as a naturalist!

Job Duties include:

  • Develop learning experiences and materials, employ effective teaching strategies while adhering to the program philosophy and vision.
  • Facilitate learning experiences in a classroom and/or outdoor environment by employing a variety of appropriate teaching strategies.
  • Create an inviting and safe classroom and/or outdoor environment that responds to the needs of young learners.
  • Meet twice per month to conduct outdoor hikes for ages 3-5 years old.  Each meeting typically lasts 45-60 minutes.
  • Compensation based on experience and knowledge.

Please inquire at nurseryschool@indianhillchurch.org or call (513) 561-5513.


Learn More to Do More (Trainings and Discussions)

Book Discussion Group: Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet 

Thursdays, Sept 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 3-4:30 pm at Rowe Woods

This last book by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us that there’s one thing we all have the power to change, and that is our mind. Our way of looking, seeing, and thinking determines every choice we make, the everyday actions we take or avoid, how we relate to those we love or oppose, and how we react in a crisis. This is a practical way through anxiety and fear and into a space where we can be of service to community. Space is limited to 10 people, facilitated by Cincinnati Nature Center member Chris Lottman. There is no charge, but you will need to find a copy of the book and you must be a member or pay non-member admission at the gate for each visit. To participate, contact Chris directly at lottmaca@ucmail.uc.edu. 

Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist Program 

You may know someone who is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist (OCVN). At Cincinnati Nature Center, more than 450 people have graduated from this Ohio State University extension program, and gone on to volunteer to support our state’s natural resources. It’s a wonderful way to learn more about nature and to empower you to be a more confident volunteer. Cincinnati Nature center will offer this course again in fall. Click here to learn more about the Fall 2022 session of our OCVN course.

Other Educational Opportunities

Here are some good resources to learn more about the world on your own time. Click the name of each one for more details.


News from Your Peers

Learn how other Nature Center members are making a difference, overcoming obstacles, and forming connections through service.  If you would like to tell your story about an environmental issue, action, or cause in which you are working to make a difference, you may submit your blog for consideration to Connie O’Connor at coconnor@cincynature.org. Keep it short and send photos.  Maybe we will use your piece next time!

In this issue, we hear from Mark Lacy, a Certified Volunteer Naturalist and Nature Center volunteer. Click here to read his blog, In Search of Facts.


Give Us Your Feedback 

You're receiving this action-oriented newsletter because either you signed up for it after completing the Cincinnati Nature Center survey or because you are a graduate of the Nature Center’s Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist program. If you want to unsubscribe, please click here. 

If you have suggestions for content or have other input, feel free to contact Director of Applied Learning Connie O’Connor at coconnor@cincynature.org. 

Issue 1 | June 2022


You Are Invited to Our First Common Good Gathering

Tuesday, July 12, 6-8 pm, Rowe Woods

All of us are called to play a more compelling part in caring for this planet and its inhabitants—we hope you will join us for our first Common Good Gathering. 

Cincinnati Nature Center is made up of people—staff, volunteers, members, visitors —including you. What holds us together is a shared love of nature and care for the land, not just for ourselves, but for future generations. While we work to create healthy ecosystems, learning opportunities, and inspiring experiences on our sites, we realize that conservation extends beyond our property line and into communities like yours.  

If you’d like to share insights from your community, connect with others, or get inspired for conservation action, we invite you to join us for a learning and listening session on Tuesday, July 12 from 6–8 pm. We will be joined by author Peter Block, who will engage us in a facilitated experience to co-create ideas, working groups, and next steps for action. Plus, there will be pizza! 

More about our facilitator: 

Peter’s work is in the restoration of the common good and creating a world that reclaims our humanity. To find out more, see www.peterblock.com   

Designed Learning, Inc. offers training and consulting in Flawless Consulting and Leader as Convener. 

Common Good Collective is an initiative that makes accessible the foundational practices for restoring the common good.


Volunteer Opportunities 

Cincinnati Nature Center offers many opportunities for volunteerism. Click here to learn more about volunteering at Cincinnati Nature Center.

Many other local conservation organizations would love your help.  Below is a list of some current needs. For Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalists, these hours likely apply to your annual certification requirement.  

  • Mill Creek Alliance: Twenty-five years of loving and tedious labor went into restoring Mill Creek from "the most endangered urban river in North America” to a thriving aquatic ecosystem. If you’re interested in helping school children seine for macro invertebrates during the school year, helping with the summer fishing program, putting together a service work party in your watershed community, or joining the water quality monitoring program: contact Volunteer Coordinator Johnny Dwyer jdwyer@themillcreekalliance.org  

  • Gorman Heritage Farm: This educational farm in Reading has volunteer opportunities in the following areas: gardening (weeding, digging beds, planting native and some non-native but pollinator friendly plants); habitat restoration (clearing areas of invasive plant species and replacing with native, beneficial plants and trees); education (leading school groups, Saturday tours); Trosset Wildflower Sanctuary (work with a team on the continuous care of this one acre space of native plants and wildflowers); and assisting with adult and family programs..  If you are interested in volunteering at Gorman Heritage Farm, fill out the online volunteer application/waiver to get started. Questions? Contact Beth Walker at bwalker@gormanfarm.org 

  • Bahr Farm: Managed by Cardinal Land Conservancy, Bahr Farm is a working farm on North Bend Rd., with daily checks of the cattle herd, landscaping, mowing grass, building cleanout and repair, etc., as well as farm equipment repair and maintenance, and easement monitoring (on an annual basis visit 55 privately-held properties that have conservation easements, tour the properties taking pictures, talking with property owners, and writing reports to document that the conditions of the easements are being followed). To volunteer contact Mark Besserman, Land Steward, Cardinal Land Conservancy, 513-658-9268  

  • B's Junior Gardeners: This project is an ongoing science enrichment experience in Springdale, Ohio's two elementary schools, hosted by OCVN and MGV Volunteer Brandy Blaylock. The needs of this program are typical for those with a gardening, teaching, or communications background; bed maintenance, bed installation, harvesting & donation, propagation of plants, nature path maintenance, critter hardscape building, photography, citizen science, social media outreach, newsletters. Any interested in assisting in the classroom with students needs to complete a background check and fingerprinting with Princeton City Schools District before starting in August. There is a high need for teachers and classroom assistants. Contact Brandy at bsjrgs@gmail.com if you are interested in volunteering with this program.   

  • Warren County Parks needs help this summer with Tech Free Tuesday programs that run each Tuesday all summer from 10 AM to noon. Click here for more information on Tech Free TuesdaysFor questions email Shannon Russell at mothernaturesclassroom@gmail.com 

  • Green Umbrella offers an even broader perspective of environmental efforts and volunteer opportunities in the region. Click here to subscribe to their newsletter


Learn More to Do More (Trainings and Discussions)

Book Discussion Group: The Book of Hope 

Tuesdays, June 21-July 19, 10-11 am at Rowe Woods

One of the most famous and beloved naturalists of our time, Jane Goodall, challenges us to consider the relationship between hope and action, and give us four reasons to remain hopeful even when we feel overwhelmed with bad news. Cincinnati Nature Center member and volunteer facilitator Jen Goldschneider will create space for participants to process what they read and discuss what it means to them going forward. There is no charge, but you will need to find a copy of the book and you must be a member or pay non-member admission at the gate for each visit. Space is limited to 10 people. To participate, contact Connie O’Connor at coconnor@cincynature.org. 

Book Discussion Group: Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet 

Thursdays, Sept 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 3-4:30 pm at Rowe Woods

This last book by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us that there’s one thing we all have the power to change, and that is our mind. Our way of looking, seeing, and thinking determines every choice we make, the everyday actions we take or avoid, how we relate to those we love or oppose, and how we react in a crisis. This is a practical way through anxiety and fear and into a space where we can be of service to community. Space is limited to 10 people, facilitated by Cincinnati Nature Center member Chris Lottman. There is no charge, but you will need to find a copy of the book and you must be a member or pay non-member admission at the gate for each visit. To participate, contact Chris directly at lottmaca@ucmail.uc.edu. 

Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist Program 

You may know someone who is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist (OCVN). At Cincinnati Nature Center, more than 450 people have graduated from this Ohio State University extension program, and gone on to volunteer to support our state’s natural resources. It’s a wonderful way to learn more about nature and to empower you to be a more confident volunteer. Cincinnati Nature center will offer this course again in fall. Click here to learn more about the Fall 2022 session of our OCVN course.


Adopting New Habits with EcoChallenge 

April is considered “Earth Month” because it’s the month when many people choose to celebrate Earth Day every day. This Earth Month, Cincinnati Nature Center tried something new.  We invited members and their families and friends to join our team for the Drawdown Challenge. 

We spent the entire month of April doing our best to reduce our climate impact with a team of 242 people. Together, we acted 1,827 times in just 30 days to make a difference. We prevented 982 pounds of carbon from getting into the atmosphere, ate 542 meatless meals, contacted 15 public officials or leaders, saved 540 gallons of water and we spent 58 hours learning how to do more to address climate solutions.  

One of the great things about the Drawdown Challenge is that it inspired us to do things we’ve been putting off or forgetting to do for the environment.  Examples include learning about renewable energy, eating less beef, composting, or writing representatives about our concerns for the environment.  After an entire month of using the online tool to announce and record our commitments and actions, many of us developed new habits that we hope will last. 

Sometimes it feels that our individual efforts don’t add up to much when it comes to environmental problems.  But Drawdown Ecochallenge helped us to see how the impact adds up when many people take action for the environment. 

If you’d like to get involved in an EcoChallenge, click here to go EcoChallenge and sign up for notifications.  EcoChallenge will be launching a plastic reduction challenge in July.  You will definitely learn a lot as a participant, because there is a resource section that accompanies every action category listed. Give it a try! 


Give Us Your Feedback 

You're receiving this action-oriented newsletter because either you signed up for it after completing the Cincinnati Nature Center survey or because you are a graduate of the Nature Center’s Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist program. If you want to unsubscribe, please click here. 

If you have suggestions for content or have other input, feel free to contact Director of Applied Learning, Connie O’Connor at coconnor@cincynature.org.