About Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners

Tinker’s Creek is named after Joseph Tinker, the principal boatman for Moses Cleaveland’s survey crew, who died in a boating accident on a return trip to New England. The steepness and rockiness of the Tinker’s Creek gorge, now a part of the Cleveland Metroparks Bedford Reservation, made much of the land along the creek bed inaccessible for homes and farming, securing its preservation as a natural area. Tinker’s Creek is the largest tributary of the Cuyahoga River, draining parts of 24 different political jurisdictions, spanning Portage, Geauga, Summit, and Cuyahoga counties. Tinker’s Creek has a drainage area of 96.4 square miles and a total length of about 30 miles. It enters the Cuyahoga River at river mile 16.36.

The watershed lies on a glaciated plateau. Soils are mostly silt loam and clayey silt loam. Wetland swamps, bogs, and fens are common in the upper watershed. Flows in the lower section of the creek are highly influenced by the discharge of treated wastewater from upstream wastewater treatment plants; in 1991 the combined effluent had a median discharge of 11.623 mgd or 17.9 cubic feet per second. Portions of the stream are on bedrock and form waterfalls which are a natural barrier to fish passage. The lower portions of the stream have formed the Tinker’s Creek Gorge, which is a National Natural Landmark.

Recent acquisitions in the basin by MetroParks Serving Summit County and the Cleveland Metroparks have increased the amount of protected watershed in the basin. Many local communities are also involved in protecting and acquiring parkland in the basin. (Ohio EPA, Lower Cuyahoga TMDL).

Tinker’s Creek History

Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners (TCWP) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) watershed organization officially established in 2006.  Our mission is to protect and restore water quality and habitats of the Tinker’s Creek and Brandywine Creek watersheds through community partnerships. Tinker’s Creek watershed drains 96.4 square miles and is the largest tributary to the Cuyahoga River. The watershed area spans 24 communities in Cuyahoga, Summit, Portage and Geauga counties.

TCWP is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors who bring a variety of expertise in the fields of stormwater management, environmental education, engineering, natural resources conservation, planning, law, economic development and other areas.  TCWP is guided in their efforts to protect and restore the watershed and educate the public by four Ohio and U.S. EPA-endorsed non-point source implementation strategic plans (NPS-IS Plans). Each plan encompasses a subset of the Tinker’s Creek watershed and Brandywine Creek watershed. They can be found under the Information tab.

TCWP’s work is aligned with a 5-year strategic plan focused on the following objectives:

  • Implement initiatives to improve watershed health.
  • Drive watershed-based education/outreach and act as a community engagement hub.
  • Facilitate private and public collaboration to support the development and implementation of our fundraising strategy.
  • Develop and implement a targeted marketing and communications strategy.
  • Align internal structures and capacities with our mission and fiscal goals.

Help support Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners mission TODAY!

E-mail: [email protected]

Board of Directors

Past President

Environmental Consultant, Davey Resource Group

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Samantha Robbins, CESSWI, Project Environmental Scientist, STONE Environmental Engineering & Science, Inc.

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Vice President

Natural Areas Biologist, Holden Arboretum

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Retired Journalist, The Plain Dealer

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Retired Professor of Psychology, LCSW, and LMFT

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Joshua Herchl

National Infrastructure Market Manager, Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc.

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Sandy Barbic

Soil and Water Education Specialist, Summit County Soil and Water Conservation District

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Katherine G. Holmok

PLA at Kimley-Horn Engineering, Planning, and Design Consultants
PT Lecturer at Case Western Reserve University, CEE Department

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Attorney at Buckingham, Doolittle, and Burroughs, LLC

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External Affairs Representative, Dominion Energy

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Manager, Youth Outdoors at Cleveland Metroparks

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Restoration Engineer in Training, EnviroScience, Inc.

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Board Members Emeritus:

Justin Czekaj, Stacey Faile, Charlie Uray and Chris Vild

Our Staff

Erica Matheny, PhD, Executive Director
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Erica Matheny, PhD, Executive Director

Dr. Matheny is the Executive Director of Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners (TCWP). She leads the organization’s vision and mission, oversees operations, finances, and programs, and serves as a liaison between the board and staff.

She has extensive experience teaching and researching urban studies and environmental science at institutions of higher ed, conducting impactful research, developing national STEM programs, and leading sustainability efforts resulting in an 80% reduction in single-use plastic materials used by a quarter-million participants enrolled in national STEM programming.

Erica holds a PhD in Urban Studies and Public Administration with a concentration in environmental issues, an M.S. in Ecology, and a B.S. in Biology. Committed to equity and environmental justice, she also holds a certification in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace from the University of South Florida.

Outside of work, Erica enjoys hiking, kayaking, and traveling with her family and their two dogs.

Matt Siefert, Watershed Coordinator
[email protected]

Matt is the Watershed Coordinator for Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners. He brings a diverse background of experience in both the public and private sectors, including work in lake management, public education as a park naturalist, and invasive fish management, to this role. Matt performs a wide array of duties for TCWP, though he is primarily involved in the development and implementation of educational programming, assisting with the coordination of environmental projects, and stormwater compliance.


Matt has a master’s degree in biology from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in environmental biology from Pennsylvania West University, Clarion. A naturalist both professionally and recreationally, Matt enjoys spending his free time birding, photographing wildlife, and ranting about non-native species to anyone unfortunate enough to be within earshot.

Angela Brodie, NOWCorps Program Director
([email protected])

Angela Brodie, NOWCorps Program Director

Angela Brodie is the Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners Program Director for the Northern Ohio Watershed Corps (NOWCorps) AmeriCorps program. With a background as an AmeriCorps alum and former Associate Director of AmeriCorps State and National programs, Angela brings extensive experience in AmeriCorps program management. Her expertise encompasses grant management, community development, education, and training.

Angela holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts degree in Communication from The University of Akron. She has also served as adjunct faculty at both The University of Akron and Kent State University.

Outside of her professional commitments, Angela finds joy in traveling, gardening, hiking, and spending quality time with her family.

Claire Ilersich, NOWCorps Member Coordinator
([email protected])

Claire Ilersich, NOWCorps Member Coordinator

Claire Ilersich serves as the NOWCorps (AmeriCorps) Member Coordinator at Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners. Graduating from the College of Wooster with a degree in art history and philosophy, Claire embarked on a year and a half-long journey with AmeriCorps. During this time, she contributed to trail and environmental restoration projects across California, Colorado, and Washington state. Drawing from her rich experiences, Claire is adept at guiding current and future NOWCorps members in their service.

Continuing her dedication to environmental causes, Claire actively seeks to deepen her understanding of the issues affecting Northeast Ohio. Outside of her professional pursuits, she finds solace in knitting, cycling, and surfing whenever the opportunity arises.

nina white, watershed steward & educator/ nowcorps member
([email protected])

Nina White

Nina is a University of Akron graduate with a degree in Geology. She is serving as Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners  Watershed Steward and Educator for the 2023-24 NOWCorps year. 

Nina brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to add to her position – where she is educating the public about watershed health, supporting Tinker’s Creek through stewardship activities, and acting as a shining example of volunteer service for our communities.


Chief Mousing Officer

Kraken the Cat

Kraken, a proud adoptee from the Cleveland APL, plays a crucial role within the Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners team as the guardian of Creek and Catnip. Her loyalty to stormwater management and role as sidekick to the Stormwater Monster are legendary. She enjoys mousing around and kicking back in pools of sunshine in her time off.