Late last summer, Old Woman Creek NERR, the Western Reserve Local Schools in Collins, OH, and the Friends of Old Woman Creek entered into a cooperative agreement to construct, operate, and connect to the greater world a weather station on Western Reserve Schools grounds. This location on US Route 20 near Wakeman is the southern-most environmental monitoring station in the Old Woman Creek watershed.
The addition of this weather station significantly enhances two vital initiatives of Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve:
- Research and Monitoring of environmental impacts on the estuary and Lake Erie, including tracking the impact of climate change on watershed hydrology.
- Environmental Education of both Western Reserve Schools students and students in the Willard Migrant Education Program (WMEP).
The capital investments in the weather station and related monitoring and communications technology were underwritten primarily by a grant from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and by an Ohio EPA Educational Fund grant awarded to and administered by the Friends of Old Woman Creek. Maintenance and continued monitoring is supported by the Cleveland Office of the National Weather Service, the staff of Old Woman Creek NERR, and the Western Reserve Local Schools. Ongoing educational activities involving hundreds of students each school year are provided by Western Reserve schools teachers and the staff of Old Woman Creek NERR.
The Western Reserve students themselves, under guidance, are responsible for collecting data, performing data integrity checks, and then uploading the data to a national database. In the summer, student volunteers will assist Willard Migrant Education Program students in performing similar functions.
Information from this specific station is now available to anyone. Old Woman Creek watershed data (lots of it!) from the new weather monitoring station can be viewed via the NERRS Central Data Management Office Website (search for the OWCWRMET station). In the near future, weather report and forecasting information will be available on Weather Underground, WeatherBug, etc. by searching for Collins, OH.