Sarah Ryzner

Profession/Avocation: director of projects at the Western Reserve Land Conservancy's Thriving Communities Institute

Connection to the river: Cleveland native; her organization also does some work with the river. "A lot of the work that we're doing as we do stream restorations and conserve land that has some type of water feature on it will help to delist the Cuyahoga River as an area of concern. We conduct, as an organization, stream cleanups, we do invasive pulls, tree planting and some on the ground types of projects to engage volunteers and some other members and other folks that are interested in the work that we do to get out and participate on the land."

River memories: "When I was younger, my parents rowed on the Cuyahoga River and so I have memories of being in the Flats and watching them in races. And then subsequently when I was in high school, I also got involved in rowing and so I rowed on the Cuyahoga River."

Accomplishment: "As an organization, Western Reserve Land Conservancy has preserved 40,000 acres of land in our region, which I think is an amazing accomplishment."

Why I do what I do related to the river: "Clearly, we all want clean water and ultimately, anything that ends up in the Cuyahoga River will end up in Lake Erie. So this is not just a local problem, it's a regional problem. We can and often do preserve land on either side and in surrounding communities that will help improve the overall watershed health."

Favorite feature/place/section thing about the river: "I have very fond memories of the towpath and spending time along the towpath, which is along the river. What I really enjoy about the section from Harvard south into Peninsula is that when you're starting in Harvard, you're next to the river and it's kind of an industrial, urban experience, and the further south you get...it's less urbanized, and so you kind of end up feeling like you're in the middle of nowhere."