August 2022
Backyard Conversation
Connecting Community + Conservation
Welcome to the Backyard Conversation! Each month we'll be sharing a conservation topic from a more personal viewpoint for our readers. To make this successful, I want to hear feedback from you! I'll include a poll at the bottom regarding our topic and share links to some of our partner organizations with similar messages. So, let's get to it!
Practicing P.U.P in Franklin County
Hot Dog!
Pick Up Pet Waste is certainly not the most glamorous topic, but pet waste poses a very real threat to our local waterways. The bacteria like E.coli and nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus in pet waste easily washes into storm drains directly to our local waterways if it's not picked up. You can even be fined for not picking up pet waste on other people's properties or in public. Picking it up is just common courtesy and keeps our county beautiful. It's a small but simple task that helps keep our local waterways clean. 
Why is pet waste a problem for water quality?

Pet waste is very easily washed into local waterways during a rain event. As it breaks down in the water, the nutrients and bacteria are released into the water. This includes bacteria and nutrients like E.coli, nitrogen, phosphorus, and even parasitic worms. If you've ever had a pet come down with worms or a bacterial infection, you know it is NOT an easy thing to deal with it and will cost you money. Picking up pet waste keeps these our of waterways.

US EPA reported that 95% of harmful fecal bacteria in the water came from non-human sources - the majority coming from dogs. Dog waste is much more concentrated in terms of bacteria and has an average of 100x more harmful bacteria than wild animal waste. That's a LOT. In Franklin County alone, there are approximately 277,000 dogs. Each dog creates three quarters of a pound of waste every day. That's about 207,750 pounds of dog waste every single day JUST in Franklin County.

The best way to dispose of pet waste is to bag it up and throw in the trash. Make sure to clean up your lawn before a rain event; it will be easier to clean up and won't wash into storm drains and local waterways. Don't compost it. Don't use it as a lawn fertilizer; it is way too acidic to be a fertilizer and can kill your lawn! When in doubt, bag it and throw in the trash.

Take our PUP pledge to keep pet waste out of our waterways, and you can receive a free dog bag dispenser that attaches to your leash!
Dog Licensing - It's the Law

Does your dog have a license? No, not a driver's license - a dog license. Ohio law requires dogs to have a valid dog license. Many dogs get lost every year, and your dog wearing a current dog license helps assure that your dog will make back home if lost and found. The Franklin County Auditor's office does dog licensing for Franklin County, and you can even register or renew Fido's license online at the link below.
Franklin Soil and Water's New Volunteer Program

Introducing Franklin Soil and Water's new and improved volunteer program! We have a variety of volunteer opportunities available from a couple hours at a tree planting or invasive species removal or rain garden maintenance event to a more consistent and long term commitment in the office or helping us with events or programs. Check it out, and fill out the volunteer interest form if you want to volunteer with us. We also have links to our partners and other organizations with various opportunities in Central Ohio.
Another Busy Year for Community Backyards!

We have had 2,500 people participate in Community Backyards already this year and rising! Plus, 1,100+ people have already gotten their rebate. If you haven't participated yet this year, you should participate soon. In the online course, you will learn about what you can do to protect water quality beginning right in your own backyard with rain barrels, rain gardens, native plants, and composting. The online course will close at the end of September or sooner if we run out of rebate funds. Participate ASAP!
Community Backyards Graphic
Question of the Month
Does your dog have a Franklin County Dog license?
No, but Fido is licensed in another county
N/A - I don't have a dog
Here are the full results from July's asking if readers have ever reported water pollution or environmental crimes:

Yes, I have reported an environmental crime

No, I have never reported an environmental crime

There was an incident I could have reported but didn't
Get the Scoop from Nature Scoop

Want to learn more about backyard conservation, pollinators, and more? Read the latest edition of the monthly newsletter Nature Scoop by Toni Stahl, National Wildlife Federation Habitat Ambassador.

Nature Scoop August 2022 - Save Trees; Roundup; Flower Allergies; Native Plants and More!

Learn more at and on Twitter @NatureScoopOhio.
Mikaela Mohr
Outreach Program Specialist
Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District
1404 Goodale Blvd. Suite 100, Columbus, OH 43212 
p: 614-486-9613 | e:
Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District | (614) 486-9613 |