May 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!
Healthy Soil = Healthy Life
Erosion? Let's break it down!
Why does erosion love to dance? Because it enjoys breaking it down. Bust a move! Sorry for the pun...

Let's talk about soil and erosion. Soil is an important resource. It is made up of minerals, organic materials and living organisms. From soil, plants and crops grow. Without soil, we would not have food, medicine, or living things. Healthy soil = healthy life.
The Cycle of Erosion: From Soil to Dirt to Erosion

Although "dirt" and "soil" are two words often used interchangeably, they are actually two different things! Dirt is misplaced soil. Erosion is the process of soil becoming dirt. Think of soil as the ground, and think of dirt as the particles on your pants after playing in the soil or the particles in the road from the soil being disturbed. Dirt AKA sediment is actually one of the major pollutants in Ohio's waterways. This dirt (eroded, misplaced soil) increases the amount of sediment in our waterways, which decreases water quality and can negatively impact many of the aquatic creatures that live there.

You can even turn it into a family activity and learning experience! We have an activity guide for students to learn about soil.
Streambank Erosion and Stabilization

A prime place to see erosion taking place is along a local stream. You might see the streambank wearing away and depositing dirt into the creek. Luckily, there are techniques you can use to prevent erosion and stabilize the streambank. Franklin Soil and Water can provide free technical assistance for your erosion and streambank problems. Reach out to us here.

Check out this video from the Stormwater Management Commission in Lake County, Illinois to learn more about some streambank stabilization techniques.
So, what can we do to prevent erosion?

Soil erosion can be significantly decreased in our own yards and communities by applying best management practices on land including planting native plants and trees. Native plants and trees have strong and extensive root systems that help hold soil in place. Growing a healthy lawn will help your grass soak in the rain too. Anything you do that reduces stormwater runoff will help reduce erosion including rain gardens and rain barrels. Win, win.

If you are looking for opportunities to get out and volunteer, check out Friends of the Lower Olentangy (FLOW), Friends of Alum Creek & Tributaries (FACT), and Friends of the Ravines. Local watershed and community groups often have tree plantings and volunteer events to help clean up and protect our local waterways from erosion, litter and invasive plants.
Community Backyards

Have you participated yet? Our GreenSpot Community Backyards program is open, and over 1,500 people have already participated! Thank you Franklin County for going green right in your own backyard. This will be another record year.

Haven't participated yet? Franklin County residents can learn about and receive a voucher for a rebate on a backyard conservation item such as a rain barrel, compost bin, or native plants. You can help prevent erosion right at home by reducing your stormwater runoff with rain barrels, native plants, and composting!

Participate via one of two ways:

  1. Take the online course and quiz. Receive a voucher within 1-2 weeks of completing the online course.
  2. Attend an in-person workshop near you. Register in advance and receive a voucher at the workshop.

Participate and learn more here:
Camp Canopy Scholarship Deadline Extended

Do you know a Franklin County high school student interested in the outdoors, forestry or wildlife? Tell them about our Camp Canopy scholarship! It available for Franklin County residents and covers the cost of the camp including meals and programs.

The application deadline has been extended to TOMORROW Friday May 27! Learn more about Camp Canopy and apply on our website.
Question of the Month
What will you do to help prevent erosion?
Plant native plants and trees
Grow healthy turf grass
Use a rain barrel
Install a rain garden
I haven't decided yet!
Here are the full results from April's poll asking how folks celebrated Earth Day:

Yard work!


Attend an Earth Day festival or event

I did not celebrate this year

I haven't celebrated YET!

Celebrate online
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 May 2022 - Migratory Birds; Rearing Monarchs; Native Plants; Wildlife Gardening; Avian Flu 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, ext. 131 | e:
Connect with us online!
Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District | (614) 486-9613 |