Environmental overload: where can you get involved?

I was always overwhelmed by the idea of environmental issues. I found it nearly impossible to wade through all the technical jargon, politics and constant flood of new dangers and effects. So, I gave up trying to keep track of it all. But I still felt bothered and compelled to do something. But what? I just didn’t know where to start. Where could I even find the information I needed? How could I help? Where could I help? Who could I contact?

While researching various topics through this course, I stumbled across several organizations that seemed to answer all of those questions.

Here are just a couple of the dozens of environmental advocacy groups throughout the state of Ohio, each one with a passion for protecting, maintaining and improving Ohio’s natural beauty.

Environment Ohio

A subset of the national Environment America, Environment Ohio is a project focused on “independent research, tough-minded advocacy and spirited grassroots action.” They tackle issues from clean water and air to global warming solutions by communicating with the public and elected officials through news conferences, canvassing, interviews and more. Their sister organization, Environment Ohio Research and Policy Center, focuses more on the research and education portion of their mission.

Ohio River Foundation (ORF)

As the name would suggest, this organization focuses on all things Ohio River. Their primary mission is to address current issues facing the river in order to ensure its use, safety and enjoyment for future generations. ORF works with scientists, government agencies and citizens to improve water quality and give people access to the information and tools they need to help their cause. They have various volunteer events throughout the year, including invasive plant removal, planting native plants, park improvements, habitat restoration and water clean up. They also partner with local schools in order to build land labs and create volunteer events.

Western Reserve Land Conservancy

Focused on preserving Ohio’s natural, coastal and farm lands in northern and eastern Ohio, the Western Reserve Land Conservancy is the largest land trust in Ohio and one of the largest in the United States. This organization works in a variety of capacities such as creating new parks, conserving existing parks and natural areas, preserving farmlands and reforesting cities. Like the Ohio River Foundation, the Western Reserve Land Conservancy has various volunteer opportunities throughout the year such as the Grand River Cleanup, Sherwick Tree Steward Training Program and Tree Plantings and the Adam’s and Haley’s Run Cleanup. In order to keep supporters and the public informed on current trends in conservation and projects, they produce several publications including a quarterly newsletter called Landline.

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