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MWCD Invites You to Capture the Canvas for a Chance to Win Prizes!

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) invites you to hit the trails this summer for a chance to win fabulous prizes while having a great time outdoors with your family and friends now through Labor Day!

Find a canvas and enter to win a prize! Guests are encouraged to try and find all six canvases at each of the MWCD parks but have a maximum of three entries per person. (One entry per person, per park.) Three winners will be randomly selected. First, second and third place winners will receive a $200, $100, or $50 gift card respectively, thanks to our sponsor, Encino Energy.

The first 200 entries will receive a custom MWCD walking stick medallion, and all participants with three entries from different parks will receive a walking stick.

Five local schools created the artwork that is on display to encourage residents to get outdoors and explore the trails. MWCD provided the materials, and students painted canvases. Participating schools and the locations of their artwork are:

New Philadelphia High School: Atwood Lake Park

Dover High School: Atwood Lake Park, and Charles Mill Lake Park

Lucas High School: Pleasant Hill Lake Park

Caldwell High School: Seneca Lake Park

Claymont High School: Tappan Lake Park

“We are excited to collaborate once again with local school districts to encourage people to explore our trails and experience nature at one of our parks,” said Pete Novotny, MWCD Chief of Recreation. “We strive to connect people to the outdoors and have focused on improving and adding trails. This is a great opportunity to invite people out to the parks and feature local talent at the same time.”

The artwork will be on display, and the contest will run from Memorial Day through Labor Day. To enter, visit one of the MWCD park locations and search for the canvas on the trail. Once found, take a photo of the canvas and visit to enter your information, upload your photo, find contest rules and trail maps. Must be 18 years of age to participate. Winners will be notified September 12, 2024

MWCD Celebrates Earth Day

​​​MWCD Celebrates Earth Day by Planting 100 Trees at Clendening Marina and Collecting 33,000 Pounds of Tires at Atwood Lake

NEW PHILADELPHIA, OHIOEarth Day was celebrated nationally on April 22, but ended up as a week-long event at the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD). The festivities began with litter clean-up events and culminated with a tire take-back.

Mid-week, MWCD partnered with MPLX to plant trees near Clendening Marina. This initiative was designed after the area was clear-cut due to the maturity of the previous white pine trees. MWCD staff, alongside staff from MPLX planted 100 native fruit and nut trees in the marina area.

“The restoration of this area through tree planting is vital for ecological balance and wildlife habitat restoration. Native fruit and nut trees will not only beautify the landscape but also provide essential food sources for local wildlife. By diversifying the tree species, we aim to attract a variety of birds and other wildlife to this important ecosystem. We appreciate the support from MPLX in advancing our conservation mission and are glad to welcome their employees to get this important work done,” said Matt Thomas, MWCD Chief of Conservation.

Other Earth Day activities included a tree giveaway, sponsored by the Williams Companies where more than 800 trees were provided to the public including white pine, red oak, and white oak. The remaining 100 trees were donated to Camp Tuscazoar.

A tiretake back event, sponsored by Kraton Chemical (Dover), Encino Energy, and Muskingum Watershed Conservancy Foundation culminated the week-long activities resulting in 1,100 recycled tires weighing in at more than 33,000 pounds! This event was designed to provide area residents an opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of discarded tires by bringing them to MWCD for proper disposal. Willig Tire Recycling LLC was onsite to accept the tires.

“Our Tire Take Back Event is a crucial step in reducing the environmental hazards posed by discarded tires,” said Thomas. “We were pleased with the programs that took place all week long and are grateful to all of the sponsors who have helped make these opportunities come to life.”

MWCD encourages everyone to join together in protecting and preserving the natural beauty of Eastern Ohio. More information on future MWCD’s events can be found at

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Earth Day 2024

In Celebration of Earth Day

Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) is excited to invite the public to join in a series of events highlighting and supporting Eastern Ohio’s natural resources and beauty. With the generous support of Encino Energy, Kraton Chemical, the Williams Companies, Infinity Natural Resources, and the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy Foundation (MWCF), the MWCD has scheduled a lineup of activities focused on conservation, community engagement, and sustainability.

  • Tree Giveaway

    Tree Giveaway


  • Clean-Up Challenge

    Clean-Up Challenge

    Clean-Up Challenge


  • Earth Day Clean-Up

    Earth Day Clean-Up

    Earth Day Clean-Up


  • Tire Take Back

    Tire Take Back


Tree Giveaway

Sponsored by the Williams Companies

MWCD will give away native Ohio trees at multiple locations across the District. Made possible by generous support from the Williams Companies, MWCD will be distributing native trees including Red Oak, White Oak, and White Pine. With 225 trees available at each location, this is a first-come, first-served opportunity, with a limit of one tree per family, to add natural beauty while also enjoying all the benefits that trees bring: habitat for wildlife, drainage control, new sources of clean air, and others. Any remaining trees will be donated to Camp Tuscazoar.

Trees are available on April 20 at:

  • 11am – 1pm   | Atwood Lake Park Welcome Center, 9500 Lakeview Rd, Mineral City, OH 44656
  • 1pm – 3pm   | Charles Mill Lake Park Messerly Recreation Center, 1277 A SR 430, Mansfield, OH 44903
  • 12pm – 2pm | Seneca Lake Park Welcome Center, 22172 Park Rd, Senecaville, OH 43780
  • 3pm – 4pm  | Seneca Marina Point Shelter #2, 165 Lashley Rd., Senecaville, OH 43780
  • 11am – 1pm   | Tappan Lake Park Activity Center, 84000 Mallarnee Road, Deersville, OH 44693

Clean-Up Challange

Sponsored by: Encino Energy, Infinity Natural Resources, and MWCF

In partnership with Encino Energy, Infinity Natural Resources, and the MWCF, MWCD presents the Earth Day Clean-up Challenge. April 20 – April 28, individuals aged 18 years or older are invited to participate in this social media activity to win a prize valued at up to $500! Details include:

  • Visit Atwood, Charles Mill, Clendening, Leesville, Pleasant Hill, Piedmont, Seneca or Tappan Lake Parks and/or Marinas.
  • Take a picture of a recreational activity and post it on social media, tagging the location (e.g., Atwood Lake Park, Charles Mill Lake Park, etc.) and using #MWCDEarthDay2024.
  • Participants are encouraged to pick up and dispose of any litter they find, contributing to the cleanliness of our parks and waterways.

Rules and Regulations

Earth Day Clean-Up

MWCD encourages the community to participate in the Earth Day Clean-up at the Lake and help keep them pristine by gathering and disposing of trash around the lake. In return, participants will receive a free night of camping. Events occur:

  • April 20:
    • Atwood | 11am-1pm
    • Tappan | 11am-1pm
    • Seneca | 12pm-2pm
    • Charles Mill | 2pm – 4pm
  • April 27:
    • Leesville | 9am-12pm
    • Piedmont | 10am-1pm
    • Pleasant Hill | 12pm-2pm
    • Clendening | 1pm-3pm

    Tire Take Back Day

    Sponsored by Kraton Chemical (Dover), Encino Energy, and MWCF

    MWCD is hosting a Tire Take Back Event for area residents to reduce the environmental impact of discarded tires by bringing them to MWCD for proper disposal. Details include:

    • April 27, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Atwood Lake Park
    • Willig Tire Recycling LLC will be on-site to accept all tires. Tires must be free of debris, and tires on wheels cannot be removed. Federal law limits hauling to 10 tires per vehicle.
    • MWCD can accept up to 2,500 tires on a first-come, first-served basis.

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      Dockside Bar & Grill to Open at Tappan Marina

      The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) is thrilled to announce the Dockside Bar & Grill will be opening at Tappan Lake Marina. The restaurant, operated by Buehler’s Fresh Foods, is set to open in May.

      Guests can look forward to classic American cuisine including specialty seafood dishes created by a team of talented chefs with over 30 years of training and experience. In addition to great food, the atmosphere is a relaxed and inviting space that can be accessed easily by car from State Route 250, or by boat utilizing the courtesy docks floating below the restaurant. Guests can enjoy dining on the patio while soaking up the sun and lake breeze, or inside the recently renovated indoor dining room to enjoy the views with floor to ceiling windows.

      “We are thrilled to bring the unique flavors and top-notch service of the Dockside Bar & Grill to the Tappan Lake community,” said Jayson Slusser, Restaurant Manager of the Dockside Bar & Grill. “With our dedication to quality ingredients, exceptional service, and breathtaking waterfront views, we look forward to becoming a staple for locals and visitors alike.” Jayson is a trained chef from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He has spent his entire career working in and managing restaurants.

      A grand opening Mother’s Day brunch celebration is scheduled for May 11th and 12th and guests are required to reserve their tables in advance to secure their spot at this highly anticipated event.

      “We are pleased to announce the new partnership for the restaurant at Tappan Marina,” said Craig Butler, MWCD Executive Director. “Buehler’s has an outstanding reputation. We believe they will be a perfect fit to provide an excellent dining experience and exceed expectations for our valued guests.”

      For more information about the Dockside Bar & Grill at Tappan Lake, including menu offerings and reservations, please visit their Facebook page at Dockside Bar & Grill at Tappan Lake or contact (740) 269-1170.

      MWCD: Honoring our Past, Planning our Future

      Published by: Craig Butler, MWCD Executive Director

      Last year was a landmark year for the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) as we honored our past by celebrating 90 years of providing unparalleled flood prevention, recreation, and conservation benefits to Ohio.

      As 2024 begins, we will build upon the accomplishments from 2023 and work towards our 5-year strategic plan titled, “Honoring our Past, Planning our Future.” I am excited to provide a sample of the achievements of 2023 and initiatives we have planned for the year.

      One very significant achievement from 2023 was the reduction of the assessment for property owners within the watershed by 66%, or $4 million. We made this change because we built a stable financial future through careful resource management. Even with this reduction, we invested over $2.3 million in improvements to our network of dams and lakes in 2023. Additionally, these investments are part of the $221 million park improvements and upgrades made since 2014 which have supported 2,606 jobs paying nearly $300 million in wages and benefits. Through these improvements and upgrades, MWCD has contributed an estimated $1 billion to our region’s economy, according to 2023 Cleveland State University study.

      Careful thought goes into how MWCD invests in improvements and upgrades to our facilities that support our mission of flood prevention and control, recreation, and conservation. Our system of dams and other flood mitigation assets is well established and carefully managed in close partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. We are proud of the continued high marks we receive from the Corps for our work, ranging from our fiscal support of fixing the Zoar levee and other dam improvements, to our own work restoring and protecting shorelines, strategic dredging operations, and invasive species control. Last year alone we spent more than $4.4 million to maintain and improve this system of reservoirs, dams, and levees to ensure that it is in top shape to preserve life and property. This is our first and primary mission and we will continue to give this our full attention and priority.

      Additional investments in our lakes and parks help ensure they are desirable places for families to gather and enjoy Ohio’s natural resources. Projects such as Pleasant Hill Lake Park’s new pickleball and basketball courts, cornhole boards, and shaded seating area are perfect examples of such additions. Similarly, at Tappan Lake Park, we have improved the beach experience with a new restroom and changing area and upgraded the concession building and shelter. Atwood and Piedmont Lakes received new basketball courts, as well. We also completed the 1.3-mile Tappan Beall Farm Connector Trail, which enhances off-lake opportunities and showcases our collaborative partnership with regional conservation groups.

      We have ambitious plans for 2024. Proposals are being evaluated for new developments at Atwood Lake. Important infrastructure upgrades are coming to Clendening Lake, including a new wastewater treatment plant, pump stations, and rehabilitation efforts. Tappan Lake Park will see a new welcome center to better serve guests. Additional amenities, including ADA kayak launches, concrete cornhole boards, and playgrounds at various parks demonstrates our dedication to recreation for all. Plans for Seneca Lake Park include a splashpad, playground, sport courts, and additional facilities for a more enjoyable beach experience. The investment back into MWCD facilities at Tappan and Seneca alone exceeds $6 million.

      In 2024, MWCD is striving for more sustainable energy solutions and making a groundbreaking leap with a $2.3 million investment in renewable energy and is currently evaluating proposals for 15 solar projects that will produce approximately 1.1 million kilowatt hours.

      This year will also see an expanded focus on our conservation mission. This work is essential for us to offer healthy and beautiful lakes, parks, and waterways for both wildlife and visitors. A groundbreaking new partnership with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio has been formed with our $5 million endowment, which aims to support $200,000 worth of conservation projects, scholarships, and fellowships annually. This aligns with an expansion of our water quality monitoring efforts and collaboration with agency partners to develop a regional plan to support healthy wildlife populations. Water quality starts with land use and to maintain our high standards of water quality and reduce impairments in our region, we are increasing our support for best agricultural management practices, sustainable forestry, and wetland conservation. From clean water flows opportunity for recreation, economy, and public health.

      As we move forward, MWCD remains dedicated to the core mission of flood prevention and control. Other parts of our program naturally dovetail today to strengthen our recreation and conservation efforts. By working together, our core programs provide protection from flooding and enrich our lives. Eastern Ohio is one of the most beautiful natural areas in the Ohio River Watershed. Preserving this legacy of natural beauty is our shared responsibility and our shared joy. To ensure that MWCD is here for at least another 90 years, we are developing a plan to secure long-term financial stability through the creation of a legacy fund that will live in perpetuity. This fund will benefit future MWCD projects, operations, and potentially lend financial support to other like-minded organizations within the Muskingum Watershed.

      MWCD is honored to be part of the communities across the watershed.  As was the vision from our founders, we seek to build a conservancy that not only protects millions from devastating floods, but ensures the waters are clean, and we provide unparalleled recreation, educational, and economic development opportunities.  This is a responsibility that we fully embrace.

      Together, with our communities and partners, we will forge a path toward a sustainable and thriving future for the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District and the communities we serve. We look forward to a year filled with exciting developments and more shared successes in stewardship of this beautiful place we are lucky enough to call home.

      Country Waves 2024 – Featuring Joe Nichols

      Join us at Atwood Lake Park on August 17, 2024, for our second annual Country Waves Concert with Joe Nichols, Travis Denning & Catie Offerman performing.

      Tickets are on sale NOW – Click Here to Purchase

      Joe Nichols is an ACM and CMA Award Winner and Grammy nominated multi-platinum country music star! He has been a mainstay of country music for two decades, racking up a half-dozen Number 1 singles and ten Top 10 hits including “Gimmie That Girl”, “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off”, and “Brokenheartsville”.

      Also, taking the stage is Travis Denning and Catie Offerman. Rising star, Travis Denning, is known for his Top 10 single “After A Few”. He is also known for hits “David Ashley Parker From Powder Spring” and “ABBY”. Catie Offerman is new to country music but is quickly making a name for herself in Nashville with her debut track “Happyland Trailer Park”. She’s been touring with national acts such as Parker Mccollum, Ian Munsick and Ashley Mcbryde, and recently opened for George Strait.




      4:30 PM – Gates open (along with food trucks & beer garden)

      5:30 PM – Catie Offerman

      7:00 PM – Travis Denning

      8:30 PM – Joe Nichols


      Thank you to our sponsors for making this event possible!

      • WTUZ Radio 99.9FM
      • Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District
      • Ferris Chevrolet Toyota on the Wabash
      • Valley Septic
      • Wayne Door
      • Aultman and AultCare
      • Simpson Salute
      • Saltwell Western Store
      • Atwood Lake Boats
      • General RV
      • TMK Valley Propane

      MWCD Rangers Complete CPR and First Aid Training

      In a commitment to ensure the safety and well-being of our visitors, our dedicated park rangers recently participated in a comprehensive CPR and First Aid training program. This training heightens our emergency response capabilities within our parks, solidifying our commitment to public safety and service.

      During this training session, our rangers learned not only the fundamentals of CPR but also gained a comprehensive understanding of basic first aid techniques. From treating minor cuts and bruises to responding to more severe injuries, our rangers are well-prepared to provide immediate assistance until medical help arrives. This training emphasizes real-life scenarios that rangers may encounter during their duties. This hands-on approach ensures that the skills are practical and can be seamlessly applied in the field. Our rangers practiced administering CPR, applying bandages, and dealing with common injuries, fostering a confidence in their ability to respond effectively in an emergency situation.

      As we move forward, this investment in the skills and capabilities of our rangers reflects our commitment to the safety and enjoyment of all those who explore our natural wonders. The knowledge gained from the training gives our rangers the ability to stand ready to respond with skill, compassion, and confidence, ensuring that our parks remain safe and welcoming for everyone.

      MWCD Accepts First Place Award for Trails Program

      Staff from the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) recently attended the Ohio Park and Recreation Association (OPRA) annual conference in Sandusky, Ohio. During the conference, the OPRA Annual Awards of Excellence were presented at a banquet hosted by the association on February 6, 2024.

      The MWCD was proud to accept a 1st place award in the health and wellness category for a new initiative in 2023, “Capture the Canvas”. The awards are judged by a panel of parks and recreation professionals from around Ohio. Photographed above: Woody Woodward, OPRA Executive Director, Eric Stechschulte, Dylan Sayre, Aaron Stump, and Nate Eppink, OPRA Board President

      “Parks and recreation professionals throughout Ohio work every day to improve the quality of life of the people they serve,” said OPRA Executive Director Woody Woodward. “This effort is a shining example of that kind of work, and we are pleased to be able to present this award.”

      Capture the Canvas was created with the intention to bring artwork to MWCD trails and increase awareness of the trail system. MWCD also sought participation from local schools to strengthen community partnerships and showcase the artwork of area students.

      “I am immensely proud of our organization’s dedication to creating and maintaining a trail system throughout the Muskingum Watershed district for the betterment of residents and guests to our area,” said Craig Butler, MWCD Executive Director. “Receiving this award not only recognizes our hard work, but also underscores the profound impact our trails have on communities, recreation, and conservation.”

      Once on the trail, users were encouraged to find the canvas, capture/snap a “selfie”, and upload it to the MWCD website for a chance to win one of three prizes including $1,000 cash donated by Encino Energy, a weekend stay a deluxe log cabin at Pleasant Hill Lake Park, and a full-day pontoon rental from an MWCD operated marina. Counters on the trails documented 6,702 people between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The prize winners included Robert Calhoun, Stephanie Brinkman, and Kimberly Kress.

      Five high schools created original pieces for this program. The canvases were beautiful pieces of art ranging from nature, birds, bears, and outdoor fantasy.

      The MWCD has committed to increase trail accessibility to all people in the coming years by not only building new trails on MWCD property, but also through a partnership with the Buckeye Trail Association. Public surveys and feedback from neighboring communities and park guests have consistently emphasized the importance of trails. The MWCD has invested over a million dollars in trail development over the last five years.

      Capture the Canvas 2024 will kick-off on May 24 and conclude on Monday, September 2, 2024. Follow MWCD online at and on Facebook and Instagram for more information about how to register and prize opportunities the upcoming promotion.

      1st place- Robert Calhoun
      1st place- Robert Calhoun
      2nd Place Winner Stephanie Brinkman
      2nd Place Winner Stephanie Brinkman
      Kimberly Kress
      3rd Place Winner, Kimberly Kress


      MWCD Rangers Achieve Recertification by the Ohio Law Enforcement Collaborative Distinction Represents Outstanding Professionalism in Law Enforcement Practices

      New Philadelphia, OH (February 5, 2024)— Today the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) announced that its 30-member team of Rangers—the District’s in-house law enforcement agency— achieved full compliance from the Ohio Collaborative Law Enforcement Agency, the state’s standards-setting and certification authority for law enforcement agencies. MWCD received final recertification for group one standards which include use of force, recruitment, and hiring. Group two standards which include community engagement and body worn cameras, and group four standards which include vehicular pursuits.

      The MWCD ranger department will continue to pursue certification for group three.

      “MWCD Rangers are sworn peace officers, and they work countless hours ensuring our guests can enjoy our lakes. We also partner with the law enforcement agencies in our neighboring communities when extra support is needed,” said Chief Patrick Brockmeier, MWCD Chief Ranger. “Certification by the Collaborative is not easy to achieve, but it helps ensure that MWCD Rangers meet high standards of professionalism and have the training they need to manage complex situations according to best practices and with safety and service first in mind. We have already received Certification in several other key areas and our advanced vehicle training certification only adds to our capabilities. I am proud of our team for this accomplishment and proud of what it means for the communities and guests we serve.”

      The Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board was formed in 2015 in an effort to strengthen community and police relations. The 12-person panel is composed of law enforcement experts and community leaders from throughout the state.

      MWCD Rangers are required to be certified police officers within the State of Ohio and have full police powers on MWCD property and adjacent property. To become a certified Police Officer, they must graduate from the Ohio Police Officer Training Academy and complete training on Ohio Laws, Search and Seizure, Self Defense Training, Use of Force Training, Firearms, Pursuit Driving, Human Behaviors, De-escalation Techniques, Diversity, First Aid, and numerous other topics.  The MWCD employs 34 Rangers who are guided by professional policies that are written by Lexipol and are nationally recognized as Best Practices for Law enforcement Agencies.

      The job duties for a MWCD Ranger can vary daily from patrolling camp areas, cottage areas, and lakes, to providing Ohio Boater or Hunter Education Courses to the community. They also conduct safety checks, respond to noise complaints, criminal violations, and assist other nearby agencies. Lake Rangers complete vessel inspections, investigate boating accidents, and patrol the waterways to ensure safety.

      “I am very proud of the MWCD Ranger Department for this accomplishment and the overall professionalism they bring to the job,” said Craig Butler, MWCD Executive Director. “Throughout the year, our Rangers receive many hours of education and training to ensure that we are adopting the most up to date policing standards, and this additional certification further validates the efforts we have made. We strive to develop relationships within our communities to ensure a safe atmosphere within our parks, cottage areas, and beyond.”

      About Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District

      The MWCD, a political subdivision of the state, was organized in 1933 to develop and implement a plan to reduce flooding and conserve water for beneficial public uses in the Muskingum River Watershed, the largest wholly contained watershed in Ohio. Since their construction, the 16 reservoirs and dams in the MWCD region have been credited for saving over $7 billion worth of potential property damage from flooding, according to the federal government, as well as providing popular recreational opportunities that bolster the region’s economy garnering more than 5 million visitors annually. A significant portion of the reservoirs are managed by the MWCD and the dams are managed for flood-risk management by the federal U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). For more information about the MWCD, visit and follow the MWCD on Facebook and Twitter.

      MWCD Names New Chief of Engineering

      The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) announced the appointment of David Lautenschleger to be the new Chief of Engineering and provide supervision of all dams and reservoirs necessary for flood mitigation within the MWCD and its subdistricts. He will also oversee ongoing and continued construction projects and oversee utility operations.

      Dave began working with MWCD in 2009 and has served as Deputy Chief of Surveying/GIS since 2017.  Lautenschleger is a professionally licensed surveyor in the State of Ohio and certified GIS professional. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in both Surveying & Mapping and in Geography & Cartography from The University of Akron and a master’s degree in Geographic Information Systems from Penn State University. His career has also included time serving as a professor at the University of Akron and as a GIS Manager at Accurate Technologies/R.E. Warner, Inc.

      “Dave has provided strong leadership in the Engineering department for many years, and I am confident he will continue to do so as we move forward with many new and exciting initiatives in this new role,” said Craig Butler, MWCD Executive Director.

      “I am very excited to continue the great work this team has accomplished,” said Lautenschleger. “I look forward to continuing the strong relationships that have been developed with partnering agencies and overseeing the development of construction projects throughout the district. It is an exciting time for the MWCD, and I am honored to be a part of the legacy that will continue to serve the region for many years to come.”

      In this key role, Lautenschleger will oversee the more than $200 million capital improvement projects which span across the district. He will also manage watershed action plans, and project priorities to reduce flood damage, enhance flood mitigation, and improve water conservation and quality in the Muskingum River Watershed.

      MWCD Approves More than $900,000 in Grants to Help Prevent Flooding and Improve Water Quality

      Members of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) Board of Directors recently approved more than $900,000 in grants to eight organizations for new projects that will help protect against flooding and improve water quality in the Muskingum Watershed.

      “There is a tremendous need across our region for efforts that help defend against flooding and protect our water quality from pollution and soil erosion. The MWCD engages in a significant amount of that work ourselves but we can’t do it all, which is why we partner with other organizations in our region that share this mission. Together we’re protecting people and property from flooding and preserving our region’s water quality,” said Craig Butler, MWCD Executive Director. “MWCD is proud to be a sponsor of these projects as they support our core mission and allow us to give back to the communities that are in our backyard.”

      The grant program, Partners in Watershed Management (PWM), provides grants for projects throughout the 18 counties within the MWCD. Since its inception in 2009, the program has provided over $13.1 million in grant funding for 185 projects. The program is highly competitive with a multi-step review process to ensure that highly effective projects receive grant dollars.  All applications are reviewed by MWCD staff and a select group of volunteer industry experts prior to the Chief Engineer and Chief of Conservation recommending applications for approval to the Executive Director and the Board of Directors.

      This year’s projects are:

      Ashland Soil and Water Conservation District Ashland Small Scale No-Till Seeder New motorized seeder for use by area farmers to plant cover crops in watershed buffer zones and other areas. $13,130
      Ohio State University Coshocton Pomerene Riparian Corridor Restoration Restore 11 acres of riverside forest and grassland along a 0.5 mile section of headwater stream to assess and improve water quality $72,701
      Youngstown State University Harrison Tappan Lake Modeling for Algal Bloom Reduction Study of internal and local issues contributing to algal blooms in Tappan Lake $60,363
      South Licking Watershed Conservancy District Licking, Fairfield, Perry Flood Damage Reduction Planning Study Planning study for flood damage reduction in South Fork Licking River watershed to benefit approx. 370,000 residents in Licking, Fairfield and Perry counties. $200,000
      Licking Township Muskingum Cranberry Lane Culvert Replacement Replace 100 ft aging culvert to stop soil erosion from stormwater $220,236
      Noble County Engineer Noble Shenandoah Flooding Corridor Mitigation Study Develop strategies for reducing stormwater flooding along SR 146 and 147 near Shenandoah Schools to help avoid frequent road closures $58,860
      City of Barberton Summit S. Barberton Flood Mitigation Snyder SCM Construction Create a natural wetland on city land to absorb stormwater in order to reduce flooding, erosion and pollution runoff in the upper Tuscarawas River. $274,725
      City of Marietta Washington Nonpoint Source Implementation Strategic Plan Development Plan designs for streambank stabilization along Sugar Creek-Duck Creek and Devol Run-Muskingum River to address erosion, flooding and water quality issues. $25,000
      TOTAL   $925,015.00


      Organizations interested in future rounds of funding are encouraged to contact MWCD to discuss their projects at least 30 days prior to the application deadline to learn more about the application process and have their applications preliminarily screened for eligibility.  Please contact Lynn Gilland, Administrative Specialist at 330-556-4817 or by email at [email protected].  Further information about the PWM Program including can be found at


      MWCD Names New Chief of Recreation

      Experienced State Wildlife Official Will Bring New Energy and Ideas to Parks, Lakes, and Outdoor Programs

      The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) today announced the appointment of Peter Novotny to be the new Chief of Recreation and lead all recreation-related strategies and efforts for the District’s 5 million annual visitors to its parks, lakes, and marinas.

      Novotny is an experienced natural resources leader with a strong background in recruiting and building effective teams and managing wildlife and public engagement efforts. He currently serves as the Assistant Chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife and is a recognized national advocate for the use of public lands as the chair of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Hunting and Shooting Sports Participation Committee.

      “We’re excited to have Peter join us because of his passion for getting Ohioans outdoors and engaged in all that our state’s natural resources have to offer. He is a capable administrator and financial manager who is committed to public service. His abilities and interests align with the MWCD mission very well and I am confident he will bring valuable energy and ideas as we enter a new phase of expanding the District’s recreational programming for our visitors,” said MWCD Executive Director Craig Butler.

      “This is a tremendous opportunity to work alongside fellow professionals as we reimagine recreation to connect people to the wild places and spaces of Ohio,” said Novotny.

      In this pivotal role, Novotny will oversee parks, marinas and docking, and work collaboratively across the MWCD to enhance and expand recreational offerings. The MWCD’s lakes and parks have long been recognized as some of the best managed natural resources in the region and new upgrades approved by the MWCD Board as part of its new strategic plan will only build on this tradition of commitment to quality outdoor programming.


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