Educational Events & Activities

June reduced

How Can I Help Keep Storm Water Clean at my Home?

Dispose of Hazardous Household Waste 

Hazardous household chemicals that are not disposed of properly can be carried by rainwater into nearby lakes and streams. ReWorks offers a Household Hazardous Waste Recycling Center (HHWRC) for Summit County residents in nearby Stow. The HHWRC is open every Thursday from June through September. 

Rain Barrels

Rainwater harvesting and infiltration-based practices increase the efficiency of our water supply system. Water collected in rainwater harvesting systems can be used for outdoor irrigation and some indoor uses and can significantly reduce municipal water use. Water infiltrated into the soil can recharge groundwater, an important source of water in the United States.

Rain Gardens 

Rain gardens are a beautiful addition to any lot and will provide curb appeal and other benefits. During a rainstorm, rain gardens help to reduce flooding problems by collecting and slowing down water, allowing the water to infiltrate slowly, over a 24- to 48-hour period. A rain garden collecting runoff from a 1,000-square foot roof area in Summit County can filter over 19,000 gallons of rainwater annually. Rain gardens also help to control erosion and sediment loss because native plants have extremely long roots, some up to 15 feet long, that hold the soil in place and filter out pollutants. Pick up a Rain Garden Manual for free at the Public Works Department at 1769 Georgetown Road. 

Native Plants

Native plants require little or no fertilizer because they thrive in local soil conditions so you will not only save money on chemical applications, but you will improve storm water quality by keeping extra nutrients and pollutants out of our waterways. Improve your landscaping plan by including one of the native plant kits listed below. Summit Soil and Water Conservation District native plant kits are now sold year-round in partnership with Ohio Prairie Nursery Seed. Find out what's available here.
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Barlow Community Center Rain Garden

Rain garden 2016

Healthy Yard/Soil Testing

The first and most important step for a healthy landscape plan is to build and maintain a healthy soil since soil is the foundation for a healthy yard. To grow well, your lawn needs soil with good texture, some key nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and lime, and the right pH, (alkaline/acid balance).

It is extremely important to have your soil tested and check the pH. Grass grows best in a slightly acidic soil, with a pH of 6.5 to 7.0. You can add necessary amendments to achieve a good pH for grass growth. By having your soil tested for nutrients, you can avoid adding excess fertilizer, which costs money and ends up in the lakes and streams when it rains. Plants only take in the fertilizer that they need, and the rest will be wasted and harm the environment. 


Composting is a simple, economical way to recycle your household scraps and yard trimmings into a nutritious meal for your soil and your landscape, not to mention the beneficial insects and microorganisms that will also feast on it. Learn more on how to start your own compost pile.

Plant Trees

Trees improve stream quality and watershed health primarily by decreasing the amount of storm water runoff and pollutants that reaches our local waters. Trees reduce storm water runoff by capturing and storing rainfall in the canopy and releasing water into the atmosphere through evapotranspiration. In addition, tree roots and leaf litter create soil conditions that promote the infiltration of rainwater into the soil. This helps to replenish our groundwater supply and maintain stream flow during dry periods.

The presence of trees also helps to slow down and temporarily store runoff, which further promotes infiltration and decreases flooding and erosion downstream. Trees and forests reduce pollutants by taking up nutrients and other pollutants from soils and water through their roots and by transforming pollutants into less harmful substances. In general, trees are most effective at reducing runoff from smaller, more frequent storms.

In addition to these storm water benefits, trees provide a host of other benefits such as improved air quality, reduced air temperatures in summer, reduced heating and cooling costs, increased property values, habitat for wildlife and recreation and aesthetic value.

Helpful Links

Storm Water Rules and Regulations 

For More information about the programs listed above or other programs in Summit County, contact the Summit Soil and Water Conservation District (SSWCD) at 330-929-2871 .   

Tinkers Creek Watershed Partners has many events and educational programs. Hudson is a member community.