Watershed Heroes

Doan Brook Volunteer Collaborations

As a community-based nonprofit organization, volunteers are the key element in helping us implement conservation or restoration initiatives, as well as in providing local education and outreach programs. We are particularly fortunate to have a core of dedicated volunteers in addition to collaborations with a number of schools and community groups, including:

Hawken School
North Coast Black Bass Anglers Association
Case Western Reserve University
Larchmere Community Association

David Perelman-Hall

David leads our Fall Photography Hike through the Doan Brook Gorge. David approached the Partnership expressly to collaborate on a very important aspect of our work — the goal to ignite and strengthen connections between people and our local watershed. In addition to teaching technical skills, David teaches us new ways to see and appreciate the Brook’s ecology. View David’s work of the Doan Brook environs at Exceptional Light.

Dr. Ted Auch

A familiar face in our annual rotation of guided, educational hikes in the watershed, Dr. Ted Auch has donated his time and expertise for the past few years to lead our winter tree ID hikes. His knowledge of dendrology and vast repertoire of tree identification techniques and anecdotes makes braving winter weather more than worthwhile. When he is not sharing his passion for trees, Ted is working throughout the Great Lakes region researching the impacts of fracking on watersheds and communities.

John Reebel

John exemplifies the sort of volunteerism that is the lifeblood of our organization. We have been humbled time and again by how graciously he employs his wide-ranging talents and skills to assist with whatever task we may need assistance with. He has helped us resolve IT issues and redesigned our donor database to make it more functional, he regularly represents the Partnership and staffs our table at local and regional events, and he has recently started leading hikes of the Doan Brook gorge to provide a laid-back way for people to learn the trails and take in the natural beauty of our watershed.

Virginia Havens

While we list Virginia as a volunteer, crusader is a more appropriate designation for her tireless efforts on behalf of our community. A retired teacher, Virginia hikes the Doan riparian corridor daily and clears trash as she goes. She is a vigorous advocate for community improvements as well; writing letters, hosting meetings, and following up with phone calls to whittle away at her list of necessary improvements to Rockefeller Park and University Circle. When she’s not crusading for the Doan Brook, she can be found teaching literacy or taking classes at CWRU.

Kathy Smachlo

Whether with the Nature Center or the DBWP, Case Western Reserve Doctor Kathy Smachlo has been involved in an extensive number of volunteer efforts hosted by the two organizations. Dr. Smachlo is a deeply committed environmentalist who is dedicated to the health of individuals, the community and our natural ecology. Kathy also incorporates sustainability into her daily life, such as creating a more biodiverse and water-wise yard.

Julie Patton

For artist, environmentalist and teacher, Julie Patton, volunteering is one thread woven into, not separate from, the daily fabric of diverse activities. Since returning to her Cleveland neighborhood from New York, Julie has marshaled resources to convert a vacant lot into a garden/learning lab for local youth. Julie and her team regularly take kids to hike and clean up Doan Brook, while infusing this effort with creativity, art and history. In 2012, DBWP worked with Julie and her neighbors to construct raingardens to accompany the vegetable plots her community has created.

Dr. Mike Nichols

The DBWP is privileged to be one organization, among many, for which Dr. Mike Nichols serves as a volunteer. Dr. Nichols is an Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry at John Carroll University. In addition to work with the DBWP, he has worked on environmental projects with Ohio EPA, Euclid Creek Watershed Volunteer Water Monitoring Program, City of Shaker Heights, Cuyahoga and Summit County Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and the City of South Euclid. In 2004-2007, Dr. Nichols donated water quality testing to our efforts on the South Branch, the results of which assisted two stream restoration projects and a pollution prevention project.

Doan Brook Watershed Heroes

The DBWP honors those individuals who have created positive and lasting change at our annual meeting held in November.

2021: Case Western Reserve University Student Sustainability Council

2020: Friends of Lower Lake

2019: William Warr and Disabled American Veterans

2018: Friends of Lower Lake

2017: John Reebel

2016: Dr. Roy Larick

2015: Marcia Mauter, Marty Cooperman, and Steve Ingalls

2014: Kathy Smachlo

2013: Virginia Havens and Hawken School Student Volunteers

2012: Julie Patton and Arcey Harton

2011: Carl Czaga

2010: Bob Davis

2009: Lester Stumpe