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1404 Goodale Boulevard, Suite 100
Columbus, OH 43212
Phone: (614) 486-9613
Fax: (614) 486-9614


Community Backyards Re-Opening April 1

The Community Backyards Rebate program is set to re-launch on April 1, 2017 but workshops are currently being scheduled for the year and you can register to attend one of our current in-person workshops starting today! So far we have workshops scheduled for Westerville, Canal Winchester, Bexley, New Albany and many around Columbus. To easily register online, visit our Franklin Soil and Water Eventbrite page.

Community Backyards will once again offer $50 or $100 reimbursements to residents after participation in the program and purchase of an approved backyard conservation item. Participation is necessary to receive a rebate, and participants must live in an eligible tax district. So get ready for spring and visit Community Backyards for more information on how you can participate today!

As with last year, orders placed through our Conservation Spring Tree and Plant sale will be eligible for reimbursement once you participate in the program. So make sure to order your trees before April 10, 2017. You can easily order your plants online through our shopping cart or you can view our January newsletter for an order form to mail in and to find more information on the different species we are offering this year.

Published: February 24th, 2017

Plain Township Streamside Residents Eligible for $100 Tree Rebates

Are you a streamside homeowner living in Plain Township? We need your help to enhance your neighborhood & protect water quality! Plant an Ohio native tree on your streamside property and we will reimburse you up to $100 on your purchase.

Select the right tree from our approved list, plant it, send in a photo of the tree planted, a copy of your receipt, and include your contact information and address. We will reimburse you $100 for participating!

Important: We will only reimburse Ohio Native Trees from the approved tree list & that fit the criteria of the bullet points below:
  • Planted in the “setback” to help repair the corridor
  • Shading and cooling the stream
  • Providing habitat along the stream
  • Recreating forested reparian
Email Kristin Hilson, Community Backyards Program Coordinator with any questions or call our office at (614) 486-9613.

Published: October 26th, 2016

Rebates Available Starting April 1st

The Community Backyards program will be starting its 2016 season Friday, April 1st! The program offers rebates to eligible residents for the purchase of a rain barrel, compost bin, or native plants and trees after they participate in an in-person workshop or an online course and quiz.

Community Backyards promotes stormwater education, focusing on rainwater harvesting and infiltration. Keeping rain where it falls and using it as a resource keeps watersheds healthy and safe. The Community Backyards program promotes the use of rain barrels and rain gardens, while introducing residents to backyard conservation practices, including composting, using native plants and trees in landscapes, and maintaining lawns responsibly.

The program is available to City of Columbus residents, participating municipalities, and Franklin County residents who register to be a City of Columbus GreenSpot member. Continuing with the $50 rebate program that began last year, $100 rebates are now being offered on native trees for eligible residents as well.

The rebate program does re-start each year; residents that participated and received a rebate in 2015 can participate again in 2016 to receive another rebate. For the month of April, unused 2015 vouchers can be mailed in to receive a rebate. After April 30th, only 2016 rebate vouchers will be viable.

Visit for complete details, including upcoming workshops and the online course and quiz (available April 1st).

For questions, please call (614) 486-9613 or email Kristin Hilson, Program Coordinator

Published: March 30th, 2016

March Backyard Conservation Update

The March Backyard Conservation Update is now available!

The update this month includes the following topics:
  • The Annual Tree and Plant Sale
  • Earth Day Columbus
  • Time to Start Thinking Spring!
  • Conservation Poster Contest
  • Area V Envirothon Competition
  • Water Quality in the News
  • The Community Backyards Program Re-Launch
  • Important Dates and Events
Did not receive the update through e-mail? Download the March Backyard Conservation Update PDF today! Would yoou like to sign up for the bi-monthly e-mail to stay on top of all of our latest events and news? Please e-mail Kristin Hilson, Outreach Program Coordinator.

Published: March 7th, 2016

January Backyard Conservation Update

Did you miss the January Backyard Conservation Update?

Learn how you can stay active while having an eco-friendly winter, stay up-to-date on the latest water quality stories in the news and Franklin Soil and Water upcoming events, and be in-the-know when it comes to soil and water conservation in Franklin County!

The Backyard Conservation Update is emailed out every other month throughout the year. To be added to the list, please email Kristin Hilson, Marketing and Media Coordinator

If you did miss the January update, feel free to read the January 2016 Backyard Conservation Update overview.

Congratulations to the 2015 Conservation Stewardship Awardees!

FLOW (Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed), Laura Fay, and James Cola were recognized with the Conservation Steward Award at our 69th Annual Meeting and Board of Supervisors’ Election September 17th.

The Conservation Stewardship Award is awarded to landowners, businesses, or organizations that have exemplified the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District’s mission of promoting responsible land-use decisions for conservation, protection, and improvement of soil and water resources over the past year.

As the Superintendent of Worthington Hills Golf Course, James Cola worked with Laura Fay, FLOW, and Franklin Soil and Water to install floating island wetlands in one of the golf course’s ponds. The wetlands improve water quality by removing excess nutrients in the water that can increase the likelihood of algal growth.

Conservation implementation projects such as the floating island wetlands are made possible through strong partnerships throughout the county. Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed is a local watershed group that has been working to connect the community with the watershed and identify opportunities to improve water quality with conservation projects. FLOW hosts organized educational meetings, tree plantings, invasive plant removals, stream clean-ups, water quality monitoring programs, and stormwater demonstration projects. As the Secretary of FLOW and a retired employee of the Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water, Laura Fay continuously works to increase water quality throughout Franklin County by establishing relationships between local organizations, such as with Worthington Hills Golf Course, FLOW, and Franklin Soil and Water. Laura’s continued support of FLOW and Franklin Soil and Water goes above and beyond the expectations of any volunteer and so her work was also recognized.

The Annual Meeting and Supervisors’ Election for 2015 was made possible thanks to funding support from American Electric Power, Scotts Miracle-Gro, McMahon DeGulis, LLP., Burgess & Niple, Stantec, and 3C Technology Solutions, LLC.

Published: October 14th, 2015

The “First Flush”

Ever wonder what exactly enters your storm drains and makes its way into the waterways? Next time there is a significant rainfall, take a look at the nearest forebay–pollutants including trash, chemicals, and oils are swept through the storm drain and directly into the waterway via the forebay. This rush of pollutants during a rain event is known as the “First Flush.”

Take a look at the stormwater entering the forebay of the Crawford Farms Park Stormwater Treatment Wetland, a project funded by a 319 grant from the Ohio EPA with support from the City of Columbus Department of Public Utilities and Recreation and Parks Department, implemented by Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District.

Published: October 14th, 2015

Backyard Conservation Update for November 2014

In November’s Backyard Conservation Update, we discuss:
  • Keeping up with your household sewage treatment system (septic/aerator)
  • A way for teachers to track their and other teachers’ SQM data
  • Thanksgiving and Water Quality
  • Franklin County Children Services’ Holiday Wish
  • Snow
  • Hunter Safety
Let me know if you would like to receive this in your e-mail. Contact Kristin Hilson

November 24th, 2014

Backyard Conservation Update Oct 6

If you didn’t receive it in your in-box, here is the most recent edition of our Backyard Conservation Update.

Published: October 7th, 2014

Backyard Conservation Update: August

Read the latest conservation tips for homeowners and register for workshops in our electronic newsletter Backyard Conservation Update.

Published: September 2nd, 2014