Currents | November 2013

Did you know that the Great Lakes are the biggest freshwater source in the world? Lake Erie is the most productive for fishing of all the Great Lakes. Your support helps make our streams clean, clear and healthy so they can support this complex ecosystem. By donating to PCS, you help us reach our goals of restoring rivers that lead to Lake Erie beaches that promote fishable and swimmable conditions for generations.

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November 2013

jef at miakonda

The Maumee Corps project began by receiving a grant from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in late 2011 and on the ground work began in early 2013. Since then, it has exceeded our expectations. Partnerships with The MetroParks of the Toledo Area, The Nature Conservancy, The University of Toledo, and The Olander Park System allowed us to create 30% more full-time, seasonal, and/or part-time jobs than we anticipated, all focusing on habitat restoration in the region.  This crew of twenty-nine has addressed over 1,400 acres of restoration efforts including invasive plant species removal, native planting, and preparing for prescribed burning – putting us well ahead of our scheduled goals. Crews will continue to work well into the fall, and will pick back up next year continuing through next summer. There’s much more habitat restoration on deck for our partners, and we’re only half-way through the project. The Maumee Corps wouldn't be the success it already is without the outstanding leadership and cooperation with our partners. Together, we’re shaping this project to be one of the most visible, on-the-ground cases for cooperation in the Maumee AOC.

agm postcard pic

Every year, with your help, we do amazing things here at PCS. And every year we need a chance to celebrate and reflect on our accomplishments and plan for next year. This year, our Annual General Meeting will be held on November 19th at 6pm at Camp Miakonda. This celebration will include a light meal and a presentation reflecting our work throughout the year. We will also award our Clean Your Streams Challenge winners and the Clean Streams Partner award. Also, voting members will be electing new members of our Board of Directors. We are currently accepting nominations for new board members. If you are interested in joining our board, please contact us for more information.

But before the program begins, everyone is invited to tour the recent restoration work with the Restoring Ottawa River Wetlands and Habitat in the Maumee AOC project at Camp Miakonda. Wear your boots and come early to see how the eroded banks, overgrown invasive species, and a biologically unproductive lake can turn into an ecologically productive, species rich, healthy river, lake and wetland for everyone to learn from and enjoy. If you would like to join us for tours and/or the Annual General Meeting, please RSVP by calling 419-874-0727 by November 11th. Don’t miss the excitement! Hope to see you there!

By Kris Patterson

Sometimes our donations come from unlikely and surprising places. Recently, we won a competitive grant from a foundation called Learning by Giving. It’s one of the suite of foundations that the Buffet family have, this one run by his sister, Doris, with seed money from The Oracle himself. This fall PCS learned that we had been nominated for the national grant competition as part of a massive open online course or MOOC which is basically a term for a huge, online-only class. In this course, called Giving with a Purpose, over 10,000 course participants were learning how to strategically invest money in a non-profit positioned to make a meaningful impact and likely to show mission-related results. It taught people not only to look for charities "close to your heart" but to also go through a rigorous research, evaluation and scoring matrix, much like a business or stock investment. Sounds like the Buffet-style of investing, doesn’t it? Through this rigorous and thoughtful evaluation participants learned to focus their philanthropy dollars (of any amount) and efforts in order to maximize results.

Seven hundred organizations were nominated by students and then subjected to a rigorous peer review process. The 80 highest performing organizations advanced to a finalist round and 40 were evaluated and selected by peers in the course, with the Foundation determining final grant amounts (which varied). PCS received a $1000 grant and perhaps more importantly, the recognition that we are making a meaningful difference, are strong in our non-profit management, and are poised to achieve even more good in our community.

At PCS, we appreciate and carefully manage every donated dollar, leveraging every personal gift into thousands more in donated resources to make a difference in clear, clean, and safe waters here in Northwest Ohio. This national recognition is a welcome confirmation that PCS does make a strong impact, which is great news for anyone wanting to donate to a high impact, local non-profit. Your donation matters; it will be managed well; and it makes a real difference.

For more information about the national Learning by Giving Foundation awards, please check out the Results of World's First MOOC on Effective Charitable Giving and the Giving with Purpose Infographic.

hull international parkshrunkHull and Associates has been a donor of Clean Your Streams for many years but this year they took initiative of dedicating multiple staff to sponsoring and running the Downtown Toledo Kickoff. From start to finish, the team sought out sites to clean, got breakfast donated, organized the supplies, became site captains and ran a successful kickoff at International Park. The leader in this endeavor was Matt Beil and he was helped by Stephanie Kuck, Kristin Gardner, and Rob Phillips (to name just a few). Hull participated in Clean Your Streams through their Giving Back Program, which “not only touches the lives of the people they support but also inspires their employees and their families by giving them a chance to make a difference in the world.” Hull brought sixteen volunteers to clean multiple sites in Downtown Toledo, clearly making a difference in our community. “Hull strives to give back to the communities that directly contribute to our success by engaging in volunteer work and supporting charities. Partners for Clean Streams and Clean Your Streams fulfill that niche.” This type of partnership between a small non-profit, a large business and the public is essential in protecting our rivers. It is thanks to businesses like Hull that make our work easier, encourage us to keep working for cleaner rivers and propels us forward in protecting our environment. Our deepest thanks goes out to Hull and Associates for the work they did in helping make Clean Your Streams a success this year.

lindsey helps smBy Lindsey Crego

When I applied for the Outreach Intern position at PCS in June of this year, I did not think much of it. I figured that someone more qualified or more experienced would obtain the position. Then I received a call from Ava warning me about the work load and making sure I was prepared to take on the dynamic responsibilities. The job description was very clear and upfront but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Later I discovered that applying for the Outreach Intern position at PCS was one of the best decisions I made in my young life.

With Ava’s brilliant leadership skills, I quickly learned the ins and outs of PCS, how you should never joke around with Paige (she’s all about business), and how important it is to reach out to the public about our vital rivers and streams. The activities Ava had me doing were quite random; one minute I would be mapping our local watersheds on Google Earth and the next minute I found myself picking up 800 apples from the Westgate Farmer’s market for Clean Your Streams Day. My favorite PCS adventure is Get the Lead Out because when participating and teaching people about clean rivers, I feel much closer and connected to the community and to the environment. It is such a good feeling to look out at the river after Get the Lead Out and see how much cleaner it is.

Working at PCS was an incredibly rewarding experience for a copious amount of reasons. I learned how to effectively fundraise for a massive event and interact with businesses to obtain partnerships. Not only did I learn all about our local watersheds and water issues, I also learned how to apply my knowledge to fix the situation. This experience transformed me from a college student who enjoys the outdoors into a professional environmental advocate. Thank you, PCS, for this astonishing experience.

Partners for Clean Streams Inc. is striving for abundant open space and a high quality natural environment; adequate floodwater storage capacities and flourishing wildlife; stakeholders who take local ownership in their resources; and rivers, streams and lakes that are clean, clear and safe