Past Coordinators

Stan Stuery was the first Coordinator starting in October of 1991. Stan came from Indiana, he was a District Conservationist in Southern Indiana along the Ohio River. He did a great job getting Erie Basin up and going, during his time here he worked with council members to establish the first revolving loan fund in the state by an RC&D. Many  other RC&Ds followed the path that Stan help establish. Stan left Ohio in November of 1995 for an RC&D Coordinator position in Boone, North Carolina.  Some other projects completed during Stan’s tenure:  Tourism Brochure, Timber Bridge, Dry Fire Hydrants, Library Grants for Grant Research Books, Tree Program, Flood Control, Bike Trail, Ashland Fairgrounds & School Drainage improvements.

Ed McConoughey followed Stan in November of 1995 as Acting Coordinator until June of 1996, where he became full time Coordinator until he retired in January of 2006. During Ed’s time as Coordinator the council expanded to 10 counties with the addition of Wood County. The RLF program grew with loans being made in several counties. Also during this time in March of 1997 Greg Small was hired to assist the Coordinator. Greg handled the RLF program for Erie Basin. Ongoing or Completed Projects during Ed’s tenure:  Grant Writing Workshops, Hispanic Migrant Day Camps, Hazard Mitigation/Dry Hydrant prog., Library Mini Grants, Business Opportunity Seminars, Fiscal Agent for Ohio Lake Erie Buffer Team & Sandusky River Watershed Coalition;  Grant Writing for specific projects such as -- Marsh Field restrooms in Monroeville; Ottawa Co. Historical Society Lawnmower for the Keeper’s House; Seneca Co. Miller Farm Shelter; Ashland Co. Hazel Willis Woods trail improvements; Two Ohio EPA 319 Grants totaling approx..  $300,000 for the Huron River Watershed and $455,000 for the Vermilion River Watershed.

Mike Patterson became Erie Basin Coordinator in July of 2007.  In addition to carrying on with Hazard Mitigation, Hispanic Program, Library Grants, RLF Program, etc.;   Mike is most noted for Creating the Idea of making the USDA, NRCS mascot Scientific Knowledge Worm come to life – it would be an animatronics earthworm that teaches about our most important natural resource “The Soil”……. He developed this idea to the point of applying to the Ohio Environmental Education Fund (OEEF of the Oh. EPA) for a Grant to make the project a reality.  After considerable writing and rewriting (and meeting with the OEEF Board in Columbus along with 9 other competitors), Mike’s grant was approved in Nov. 2009.  In addition to  the OEEF, Mike obtained grants from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ohio Electric Cooperatives, and the Ohio Lake Erie Buffer Team.  The total project cost was $84,000.
He was designed and built by Life Formations of Bowling Green, Ohio (Wood Co.) – with the advice of NRCS professionals and Mike.  His “Worm Box” trailer and Vinyl Wrap were purchased in Richland Co.  Other accessories making the trailer accessible were purchased in Norwalk, Ohio; then, Life Formations created a way to secure him in the trailer for safe travel.  We picked up S K Worm on March 10th, 2010.  Truax Printing in Loudonville printed 30,000 Children’s Coloring Books and Activity Books and 15,000 Children’s Tatoos as part of the project.  SKW is still teaching the importance of soil.

All of the above Coordinators were Federal Employees and all 9 RC&D’s serving all of Ohio (375 serving 80% of the Nation’s Counties) received Federal Funds for  Office Space, Phone, Supplies, etc.;  therefore, RC&D did not charge an adequate fee for many of their services.  When Congress no longer funded the USDA NRCS RC&D program in April of 2011 (50th Anniversary of the National RC&D program), it was disastrous to the nonprofit organization which then had to rely on their own assets to continue completing their projects.  Within 7 years over 250 of the Nation’s Councils had to CLOSE.  Fortunately, Erie Basin had the USDA Rural Development’s RLF Program funding which has earned us enough income from interest on Small Business  loans to enable continued operation.