Sandusky River Fun Run to raise funds for coalition

Sandusky River Watershed Coalition is hosting its first Sandusky River Trail Fun Run/Walk fundraiser 9 a.m.-noon Nov. 3 at Steyer Nature Preserve, CR 33.

The run and walk is to take place along the river amid autumn colors. Awards are to be given to the overall top male and female finisher for the 5K.

“This is the first time we’re going to try to do this,” said SRWC Coordinator Jakob Boehler.

He said the group began to think about fundraisers they could do this fall.

“We thought 5Ks seem to be successful,” he said. “We put a little bit of a spin on it. It’s something we’ve never done before.”

The coalition received permission from Seneca County Park District Executive Director Sarah Betts.

“She said it sounds like a great idea,” he said.

The coalition has a goal of 50 participants.

The natural wooded path includes stairs, narrow trails, hills and foot bridges, so accessibility is limited for the 5K run. The one-mile trail is to have easier access for jogging strollers on a grass path.

Boehler said he hopes race participants will learn more about the watershed and possibly become members of the coalition.

Registration is 8-8:45 a.m. and the 5K race and 1-mile walk start at 9 a.m.

Cost is $25 per person for people who register by Wednesday. Youths 12 and younger are free. Pets are prohibited.

Also, register by Wednesday to be guaranteed a T-shirt. The first 50 registrants receive a free water bottle.

The entry fee is $30 from Thursday until race day. There will be no refunds.

Follow the signs for parking and registration at the southern entrance at CR 33 and Fry Road.

Proceeds benefit river programs through the watershed coalition.

Register online at runsignup.com/Race/OH/Tiffin/SanduskyRiverTrailFunRunWalk.

The 5K is the coalition’s second fall event to grab public attention. It hosted the Sandusky River Clean Sweep Sept. 22. Boehler said 90 volunteers cleaned up more than 5 cubic yards of trash, which is equal to about 1 ton.

In addition, more than 1,000 pounds of scrap metal was removed from the river as well as tires, a yogurt maker, a cash register, a sofa and a laser printer.

After the 5K, the next program on the coalition’s agenda is a Dec. 4 meeting in Fremont to bring together groups working toward improving water quality in the Sandusky River and Lake Erie.

“Efforts Toward Cleaner Water From Farms to Cities” is to take place at Fremont’s new Water Pollution Control Center, 1113 Tiffin St., Fremont.

“That’s for anyone within the watershed that wants to come,” Boehler said. “Basically, the idea is to bring together people that might be interested in the whole nutrient issue. We want to bring all the different parties to the table so they can share what they are doing to protect the river and the lake. There are a lot of efforts going on.”

Beth Diesch and Bret Margraf of Seneca Conservation District are to explain what area farmers are doing to protect water quality and a representative of Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is to present regulatory and other information.

Tours of the plant are to be available.

“It’s a fairly new facility and fairly large investment for the city of Fremont that put it in,” Boehler said.

A program has been scheduled Dec. 6 to assist businesses, churches and other entities outside of municipalities with collecting information for a new EPA requirement.

The Non-community Asset Management Workshop is to allow people affected by the new requirements to meet with an Ohio EPA representative for assistance in filling out paperwork. Boehler said a step-by-step walkthrough of the forms is to be provided.

SRWC has acquired a list of non-community public water systems in the watershed and plans to send invitations. Examples of those entities are churches, gas stations, restaurants and other businesses who are not served by a municipal water system.

He said the deadline for having the paperwork completed was Oct. 1, he said, but EPA is aware that much of it is not done.

“There’s a lot of it and it can be a little confusing at times,” he said.

There will be no repercussions for not having paperwork complete, he said.

“This information isn’t something they are actually turning in to EPA, but they have to have on hand if EPA requested it,” Boehler said.

Another project the coalition is undertaking is the creation of public information on steps residents can take at home to help protect the river and lake.

SRWC has received a $1,500 grant from Dominion Energy and Western Reserve Land Conservancy for the creation and purchase of educational materials for an outreach campaign. Materials are to include printed information, online videos and poster displays.

Boehler said the coalition is accepting new memberships and renewals for 2019. Cost for an individual is $25.

For more information on the Fun Run, memberships or programs, contact Boehler at (419) 448-2054 or jboehler@heidelberg.edu.