Monday, November 23, 2015

Student Watershed Watch

Nearly 200 students from elementary school to high school met at the University of Toledo Scott Park Campus for the annual Student Watershed Watch Summit on Wednesday, November 18. They presented results of their water quality testing research and explored careers in environmental science.

The keynote speaker was Shannon Nabors, district chief of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Northwest Ohio District Office. Jim Blue, news director from WNWO NBC 24, was the master of ceremonies.

Sylvania Northview High School won the people’s choice award for best table top display and was also awarded best overall stage presentation by a panel of judges. The student presentation, “Miranda the Midge Fly” showed the students’ mastery of data, understanding of the results of the data, and correlation of cause and effect all in an engaging presentation that included video and illustration.

Navarre Elementary was the youngest team entry and was recognized as most informative for methodology and presentation of useful background material. Westside Montessori combined video and live performance based on Willy Wonka characters to share all their data and explain implications. They were recognized as most creative.

The Student Watershed Watch is supported by local sponsors including the City of Toledo, Lucas County, Toledo Refining Company, First Solar, GM, Chrysler Group, Fiat Chrysler Automotive, and NBC 24.

Winning presentations were:

Oral Presentations:
Best Overall Presentation
Sylvania Northview High School

Most Informative Presentation
Navarre Elementary – Life Sciences

Most Creative Presentation
Westside Montessori

Table Top Displays:
Overall Best Display
Sylvania Northview High School

Most Informative Display
Navarre Elementary

Most Creative Display
Westside Montessori

Kent Bekker of the Toledo Zoo, shows students the range of turtles
that can be found in Lucas County. Behind him is a softshell turtle
that uses its snout as a snorkel.

Master of ceremonies Jim Blue takes a question.

Student Watershed Watch Coordinator Matt Horvat speaks to the
media. He has managed the program for the last dozen years.

Students learned about sewage treatment from Patekka Banister,
an industrial waste control specialist with the City of Toledo’s Division
of Public Utilities

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments |

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Celebrating a new raingarden

Residents of the Junction Avenue neighborhood celebrated construction of a large rain garden planted with fruit trees and native plants, and including benches and stepping stones. The groundbreaking was Wednesday, November 18 on Hoag Street near Pickett Elementary School. The rain garden will be an educational opportunity for the four schools in the neighborhood.

Neighborhood leaders are at work on a revitalization plan. Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG) has worked with residents to include green infrastructure in their plans

The rain garden was jointly funded by TMACOG, Partners for Clean Streams, the Lucas County Land Bank, and the Lake Erie Protection Fund.

Neighborhood leaders gathered to celebrate the start of the rain garden.

From left to right - Shantae Brownlee, vice president and director of community relations of Lucas County Land Bank; Sonia McNair, community member, parent of Jones School student, urban farmer and herbalist volunteer; Dr. Ward Barnett, principal of Jones Leadership Academy; Mr. Willie Ward principal and Mr. Willie White assistant principal of Martin Luther King Jr. Academy for Boys; Ms. Vivian Bush, community member of Junction Community Coalition leadership; Ms. Cindy Geronimo, director of City of Toledo code enforcement; and Ms. Alicia Smith, TMACOG Junction Community Liaison.  

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments |

Thursday, November 12, 2015

News from the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority - Foreign Trade Zone Expanded

TOLEDO, Ohio, November 11, 2015 – The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority has been the grantee of the Foreign Trade Zone 8 since 1971 and has recently been approved for the reorganization and expansion of the Zone under the Alternative Site Framework to serve Erie, Fulton, Ottawa, Paulding and Williams counties. The addition of these counties now doubles the size of the current framework, which includes Sandusky, Henry, Wood, Lucas and Defiance Counties.

“The expansion of the Foreign Trade Zone Framework into Erie, Fulton, Ottawa, Paulding and Williams Counties provides economic development professionals in each of these counties with another tool for attracting and retaining companies that import materials for manufacturing and distribution,” said Paul Toth, President and CEO of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. “The Foreign Trade Zone Program is a natural fit with our logistical advantages and strengthens the entire northwest Ohio region as we compete for new opportunities and developments.”

Companies within these counties that have a need for Foreign Trade Zone status will no longer have to wait for the traditional process of request, review and approval of a subzone, and will now enjoy an almost immediate extension of the Foreign Trade Zone benefits.

The Foreign Trade Zone Program is a trade program designed to offer certain specific benefits to the users. Each potential user must analyze the relevant facts and circumstances to determine and to quantify the potential benefits of operating or using a Foreign Trade Zone. Foreign Trade Zones are secured areas located in or near U.S. Customs ports of entry, but legally considered to be outside the customs territory. For additional information on Toledo’s Foreign Trade Zone Program, go to

It is the mission of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority to continuously focus on job creation by leveraging our strategic geographic position, resources and economic development proficiency to provide increased business opportunities—built upon and around our innovative transportation and logistics expertise—while promoting our community and region within the global marketplace. We will accomplish this through unmatched speed and efficiency of service, collaborative and strategic partnerships, community stewardship and the continued generation and execution of new ideas and innovations. – 419.243.8251

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments |