July 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!
How to Report Water Pollution
Who do you call?
Ghostbusters! JK. Sadly, water pollution and illegal dumping still happens even in 2022. It can be as small as someone throwing a dog poop bag into a storm drain during a walk and as big as someone dumping a large amount of chemicals into a creek or ditch. Some folks don't know that storm drains lead directly to our creeks and rivers, or they just don't care or expect consequences. However, you can help by reporting illegal dumping or water pollution! This alerts the local authorities and municipalities to take action and clean it up or issue fines when necessary.

Do you know what to do or who to call if you come across someone dumping something into a storm drain of find something leaking into a waterway? Who you call will depend on where it is or what it is. We'll break it down for you. Check out these resources below for reporting water pollution and environmental crimes.
Where to Report Water Pollution and Environmental Crimes
If you see someone putting anything down a storm drain or directly into any body of water or ditch, obtain a license plate number or address and report it to itsacrime.org
Report the release of any material that impacts public health or the environment, including chemicals and petroleum products to Ohio EPA.
Report any sewage related pollution or public health nuisances to Franklin County Public Health.
In Franklin County but not sure exactly who to call or where to report water pollution or dumping? Not even sure if it is dumping or pollution? You can always call us, and we will find out! We also have municipal phone numbers on our website.
Outside Franklin County? Check out the Be the Change for Clean Water website to find your local county's resources for reporting water pollution. It is a regional partnership dedicated to making Central Ohio Be the Change for Clean Water.
Take the Water Quality Partner Pledge

Are you a business owner or employee? Join the Water Quality Pledge Program (WQP)! Take the Water Quality Partner pledge to tell us and your local municipality that you are committed to water quality by following some best management practices and tips to keep our waterways clean.

Businesses who pledge will receive clean water tips and information, recognition on our website and social media, and a window cling to show your colleagues and customers that you are a Water Quality Partner.

If your business is located within the City of Columbus, you can take the GreenSpot business pledge instead!
Another Busy Year for Community Backyards!

We have had over 2,200 people participate in the Community Backyards course already this year and rising! WOW! If you haven't participated yet this year, you should participate soon. The last few workshops are coming up in August, and the online course will close at the end of September. It will close early if we run out of rebate funds. So, participate soon!

Check out these upcoming workshops:
  • Worthington - Tuesday July 26 at 6:30pm
  • Westerville - Saturday July 30 at 10am
  • Dublin - Monday August 1 at 6:30pm
  • Columbus South - Wednesday August 3 at 6pm
  • New Albany/Gahanna - Wednesday August 10 at 6:30pm

Register in advance to receive your voucher at the workshop. Learn more and register on the Community Backyards website.
Question of the Month
Have you ever reported water pollution or environmental crimes?
There was an incident I could have reported but didn't report
Here are the full results from June's asking how folks celebrated Great Outdoors Month and Pollinator Month:

Planted native plants

Visited a park

Went hiking

Rode a bike

Volunteered for the Urban Heat Island Study

None of these... yet!
Get the Scoop from Nature Scoop

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

Nature Scoop July 2022 - Avoid insect stings; Help Sunflowers bloom; Tree of Heaven; Garden Tips & More!

Learn more at www.backyardhabitat.info 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: mmohr@franklinswcd.org
Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District | (614) 486-9613 | www.franklinswcd.org