Summit Soil and Water coordinator shares conservation tips

by Laura Bednar

March 11 township trustees meeting

Natalie Schroder, outreach coordinator with Summit Soil and Water Conservation District, gave an overview of the district’s services and how residents can benefit from making environmental improvements in their own yards.

The Conservation District provides local leadership and technical assistance for programs to conserve soil, improve water quality and enhance Summit County’s natural resources. Schroder said the district visits residential and commercial properties to assess stormwater and other conservation issues and offer solutions.

SSWCD created a five-year initiative to educate people about stormwater. This year’s theme is “It’s not hard to have a healthy yard.”

Sagamore residents are eligible to apply for the Surface Water Management District grant program, wherein an individual or organization will be reimbursed up to $500 for implementing a “best management practice” project in their yard. These projects protect the natural water cycle from pollution and help achieve healthy water quality. Projects include turf reduction, rain gardens, rain barrels and permeable pavement. Grant applications are due by April 30. Apply at or email for more information.

The district engages in community education by sending informational flyers or poster boards about events or sending an employee to a township event to present on a topic. Other offerings include a plant sale, educator workshops and classroom visits.

Residents can sign up to receive the district’s monthly newsletter by emailing Schroder at the email address above.

Park rules

Sagamore Hills trustees voted to amend the guidelines for Sagamore Hills Park pavilions, gazebo and fields to prohibit the use of cannabis and marijuana. This addition comes after a park rule was passed in January, permitting only residents to reserve the gazebo, Pavilion A and Rosemary Snell Pavilion. Trustee John Zaccardelli said the change was made “based on the fact that many residents were denied permits because non-residents had them reserved.” He added that since residents pay taxes, they should not be denied the pavilions.

In other news

Trustee Paul Schweikert said employees of the Summit County Engineer’s Office will perform a hydraulic analysis of residential yards to measure water current, quality, pressure and drainage. He said representatives will identify themselves but do not need permission to be on a resident’s property.

The County Commissioners Association of Ohio Research and Educational Foundation is awarding a $2,000 scholarship to high school seniors who plan to attend a university, college, training program or vocational school and seek a career in public service. For information on application requirements, visit The submission deadline is May 3. ∞