monarch on milkweed

Monarch on milkweed.

Franklin Soil and Water educates and assists homeowners, community organizations, and local governments on the benefits of backyard conservation practices. These common practices are used as solutions to storm water quantity and quality problems.

Runoff from rain water and snowmelt generally enter storm drains on the streets, carrying pollutants from lawn fertilizers, pesticides, and vehicle fluids directly to our creeks, streams, and rivers. These pollutants are not filtered out through our storm water systems before flowing to our creeks and drinking water reservoirs. With the amount of impervious surfaces (roads, rooftops, driveways, sidewalks, parking lots) increasing, our storm water has no way to be slowed, and it can cause serious property damage and flooding. Backyard conservation practices can help with water conservation, water quality, water quantity, and backyard habitat.

Common backyard conservation practices include: rain gardens, rain barrels, native plantings, mulching, drip irrigation, pervious surfaces, dry streambeds, reduction of fertilizer and pesticide use,  composting, and green roofs.

Rain barrel

Rain barrel demonstration at County Fair

Rain barrels can be a cost-effective way to manage and reuse your storm water. Rain barrels are hooked up to your downspout or rain chain to capture rain water runoff and use the water again to water plants, wash your car, or rinse off gardening items.

Click here to download a fact sheet and contact list of rain barrel providers (PDF)

Franklin Soil and Water also works closely with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Find out more about cropland management, grazing management, wildlife habitat, wetland restoration, streamside buffers, nutrient management, and animal waste management and their respective federal programs by this link:


FLOW’s Backyard Conservation Manual (PDF)
Geauga SWCD Rain Garden Manual (PDF)
Rain barrel fact sheet(PDF)
Ohio Drainage Laws (PDF)
Prairie Garden Booklet (PDF)
Certify your Backyard Habitat with National Wildlife Federation
Certify your Monarch Habitat with Monarch Watch
Natural Organic Lawn Care for Ohio (OSU Extension Fact Sheet)
Butterfly Brochures (Cox Arboretum, Dayton, OH) – Scroll to Plant Guides and Wildlife Guides
Blue Thumb website – click on “Plant Selector” to find plants appropriate for your space

Soil Testing Laboratories