Ohio Wesleyan, City of Delaware, Ohio EPA Hosting Free Three-Day Speaker Series
OWU and the City of Delaware will collaborate with the Ohio EPA for an upcoming grant-supported speaker series on water management careers.
DELAWARE, Ohio – Designed for high school and college students, you’re invited to participate in a three-day, online “Careers in Water Management Speaker Series.”
The free event will be held Oct. 5-7 and provide information about careers in stormwater, wastewater, watershed, and drinking water management, among other fields.
The event is supported by a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and presented by the OEPA in collaboration with Ohio Wesleyan University and the City of Delaware Public Utilities Department.
The speaker series will include panelists from both the public and private sector, and each session will conclude with a question-and-answer session.
Organizations confirmed to speak during the series include:
City of Delaware Public Utilities
Del-Co Water Co.
Delaware Soil and Water Conservation District
Ohio Clean Marinas
Ohio Department of Natural Resources: Scenic Rivers
Ohio Sea Grant/OSU Extension
The sessions – also part of the OWU classes Introduction to Environment and Sustainability 100.1 and Conversations Toward a Sustainable Future 100.2/400.1 – are scheduled for the following dates and times:
9:30 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. Oct. 5
6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6
11:50 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. Oct. 7
For access to the online Zoom sessions, email Caroline Cicerchi, Delaware’s watershed and sustainability coordinator, at email@example.com. Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s Environment and Sustainability Program at owu.edu/environment.
Tree planting and spring clean up opportunities abound. No big commitment. Please sign up soon and often:
A Scioto River Clean-up March 15th organized by a Buckeye Valley H.S. Student: Register here
OWA’s Earth Day Program April 4th at Delaware State Park: Register here
Blue Limestone Park Stream Clean-up from 4:30-5:30, April 15th: (weather back-up date is scheduled for April 16th same time and place) registration can be completed by emailing Caroline Cicerchi (here).
DELAWARE, Oh. – Several community members, leaders, schools and groups received recognition at the annual Keep Delaware County Beautiful Awards that occurred on Dec. 4 at Stratford Ecological Center.
The Litter Prevention Award recognized Ohio Wesleyan University student Brianna Graber who coordinated with the City of Delaware on a project to install a storm drain net in Delaware Run on the OWU Campus. The 6-and-a-half ton device is the first of its kind installed in the United States and collects trash and organic debris. The collected waste will be analyzed and the water quality will be monitored giving the community a better picture of the health of our water resources.
With climate change, water rights, and environmental politics dominating world discussions, Ohio Wesleyan University student Kayla Adolph ’20 of Toledo, Ohio, is addressing the issues on campus with a project 10 months in the making.
Collaborating with OWU students, faculty, and staff, as well as workers from the City of Delaware, Adolph spearheaded the installation of a rain garden this fall on the west side of Merrick Hall. The garden is the result of a project in professor John Krygier’s spring 2019 course, Geography 360: Environmental Geography.
Ohio Wesleyan University senior Brianna Graber has spent the past year planning and conducting water-quality research on the Delaware Run, which flows through the university campus and into the Olentangy River.
Her work included collaborating with the City of Delaware to install a 4-foot-high, 18.5-foot-wide, concrete-weighted storm drain net directly into the waterway. Put in place by crane Sept. 9, the 13,000-pound trapezoidal net is now capturing trash and green debris (organic waste such as lawn clippings and leaves). The net is one of the first installed in Ohio and the nation.
Visit the storm drain net: then social media it: #delrunstormdrainnet
The storm drain net is accessible from the OWU campus, just east of the 2nd footbridge east of S. Sandusky St.:
A video of the storm drain net in Delaware Run (Sept. 25, 2019)
Rain last weekend started the process of filling the net and trapping stream debris just upstream from the net (below). An assortment of larger trash along with quite a large amount of organic material is evident. Most notable is the impressive collection of cigarette butts.
Brianna Graber (OWU 2020) has been testing Delaware Run water, and will be able to compare water quality before and after the storm drain net installation. Material caught in the storm drain net will be analyzed for content (organic vs waste, etc.). The effects of such larger water-bourne materials on water quality is the focus of Graber’s work.
The presence of so many cigarette butts is of interest. Not only do cigarette butts contain plastic, but they also contain chemicals including nicotine. Some studies have began to investigate the impact of nicotine and other contaminants from cigarette butts on urban water (see Littered cigarette butts as a source of nicotine in urban waters, Journal of Hydrology
Volume 519, Part D, 27 November 2014, Pages 3466-3474).
Analyzing the contents of the storm drain net will allow the City of Delaware and other collaborators to understand and create target efforts to reduce specific kinds of waste, and to understand how both human generated and organic waste effect water quality.
Watch here for updates and let us know if you have questions!
Mostly hidden and invisible, Delaware Run weaves itself through the fabric of the city and is often overlooked. The Watershed Walk on Sept. 22, 2019, will shed light on this important natural resource.
2nd Annual Delaware Run Watershed Walk: September 22, 2019
1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.: Choices for level of involvement: a “short walk” (45 minutes), or a longer walk (90+ minutes), with 3-4 entry or exit points. Led by Local naturalists, historians, MAD Scientist Associates and others.
3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.: creation of a “Watershed mural”, Badminton and Bocce Ball, upcycle art creation, and other “earth art and sports” (non-fossil fuel fun!)
Mostly hidden and invisible, Delaware Run weaves itself through the fabric of the city and is often overlooked. The Watershed Walk on Sept. 22, 2019 will shed light on this important natural resource.
Participants can choose to do a deep exploration of the run or shorter jaunts along its course.
Local scientists and experts will lead our walks and will explore the history, ecology and geologic features of the stream scavenger hunt style. After the walks, we will meet at the Boardman Arts Park to enjoy refreshments, music and educational programming about the nature nearby.
Students and faculty have been working a project to implement a storm drain net in the Delaware Run on campus. The purpose of the net will be to remove trash and green waste/debris from the Delaware Run behind Merrick on campus.
Beginning in the Fall of 2018, Janelle Valdinger, Dr. John Krygier and I (Brianna Graber) have been cohesively working a project to implement a storm drain net in the Delaware Run, on OWU’s campus. The purpose of this project will be for Summer Science Research through Ohio Wesleyan University and for an internship with the City of Delaware. The purpose of the net will be to remove trash and green waste/debris from the Delaware Run behind Merrick on campus.
I will be using funding from the City of Delaware, a Theory to Practice Grant from Ohio Wesleyan that I wrote and was awarded, as well as a donation from FLOW (Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed), DelCo Water Co., and the American Kayaking Association (AKA). These funds will be used to obtain and purchase the net and research supplies, fund the machinery used for the project, and create an educational sign.
We will be in constant contact with the company used in purchasing and constructing the net, StormX, to give measurements and data for the net as well.
As of mid-January, the run area behind Merrick was surveyed for data and measurements to begin constructing the net and the order will be placed soon.
The goal is to have the net delivered mid-April in order to stay on schedule for Summer Science Research. As of right now, the plan is still on track.
Two nest boxes and a feeder stand were recently installed in the backyard of the new Tree House SLU (small living unit) on Rowland Ave., on campus.
Two nest boxes and a feeder stand were recently installed in the backyard of the new Tree House SLU (small living unit) on Rowland Ave., on campus. Alumni Dick Tuttle and student Eva Blockstein installed the boxes and are maintaining them. The nest boxes were taken from the old Tree House SLU where they raised Carolina Chickadees and House Wrens during their stay there. The feeder stand’s top is many decades old but it has a new layer of paint.
Nest box 2 is facing the sidewalk on Rowland Ave. so students can see it as they walk to-and-from classes. Number-2’s label should cause the curious to ask, “So, where is number 1?”
Eva filled a feeder with sunflower seed and it now hangs from the feeder stand. The second feeder will be seen by veteran birds and will speed up the use of the new offerings.
It took us more than a year but we now are able to offer an ACTV (Activity Course) with sustainability content. This started as a student initiative.
For the spring of 2018, this course will be offered during the first and second module for .25 credit. Thus the course is a great add-on to your normal class load.
Please sign up for the class, and urge others to do so. We can offer additional topics (organic gardening, repair, etc.) in the future if this one flies.
The instructor is Aleks Ilik: he is an OWU grad and happens to be married to Kristina Bogdanov (Art). Aleks runs the Blue House Worm Farm in town and is currently working with students Matt Burke and Peyton Hardesty on a worm composting table at MTSO. One goal for the course is to expand this effort to OWU’s campus.
Chris Fink of HHK is listed as the instructor, but that is only because Aleks is not yet in the OWU system.
Meetings are scheduled Wednesday, noon-1 and Friday 2:10-4pm. Location TBA.
The Activity course will expand this effort, working with AVI and other folks to reduce waste on campus.
Branch Rickey Rain Garden (Bio-retention) Development on OWU Campus
Participants: Janelle Valdinger (City of Delaware, OWU), Dr. John Krygier (OWU Geography & Environment & Sustainability), Brad Stanton (City of Delaware), Perry Mickley (City of Delaware), Department of Parks and Recreation (City of Delaware), Department of Engineering (City of Delaware), Carolyn Cicerichi (City of Delaware)
Contact: Janelle Valdinger (JValdinger@delawareohio.net), John Krygier (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This rain garden project is the outcome of an Environment & Sustainability program student project, in collaboration with the campus Sustainability Task Force, OWU Buildings & Grounds, and the City of Delaware.
Ohio Wesleyan University was established in 1842, in one building (Elliot Hall). Elliot was built near a sulfur spring, which flowed into the Delaware Run, near the earliest settlements in the area (upper green oval, below) The proposed rain garden is located along an unnamed stream just south of the sulfur spring and Delaware Run. The stream was buried sometime in the early 1900s. The area was developed as an athletic field for Ohio Wesleyan shortly afterward. Branch Rickey Arena was built on the site in 1976.
What is a Bio-Retention Cell? MS4 Permit/Storm-water Project: The City of Delaware works diligently to keep waterways healthy. One way this is achieved is through compliance with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s (OEPA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program. The City has a permit with the OEPA for stormwater discharges, which are generated by runoff from land and impervious surfaces such as parking lots and rooftops. This bio-retention cell helps keep the City in compliance with its permit by treating stormwater pollutants before they reach streams, rivers, and other waterways.
Rain gardens are designed and developed to improve water quality in nearby bodies of water to ensure rainwater becomes available for plants as groundwater rather than being sent through storm-water drains out to local tributaries. Rain gardens have the ability to reduce the amount of pollution reaching nearby streams and rivers by 30%. The purpose of this project is to design and implement two rain gardens located on the north side of Branch Rickey Arena/Gordon Field House.
Two storm basins have were located and inspected by the City of Delaware Department of Public Utilities as approved project sites. Two planning meetings took place with the Department of Engineering, Department of Parks and Recreation, and management to determine the design, layout, plant requirements, grading requirements, and labor needed for the said project. Calculations were made to determine the exact design layout.
A quote from the City Arborist placed a $12,500 price tag on this project, and the funding was from a City of Delaware grant. OSU Landscape Architecture graduate student Jonathan Stechschulte provided the excellent drawings of the project, which OWU’s administration required before moving forward with the project.
Maintenance after the project has been completed will be shared by OWU’s Buildings & Grounds as well as being part of a semester and summer internship (focused on watershed issues). Interns will monitor, maintain, and report on the rain gardens, along with assisting our Watershed Coordinator and Department of Public Utilities employees with other tasks.
This project is part of a larger effort to create a more sustainable, and green infrastructure within the City of Delaware and especially on OWU’s campus. The possibility of this kind of project spreading to more locations on and around campus is high. Students can come back to this project year after year, choose a single storm basin or a collection of storm basins, create a design and implementation plan, and present it to the Department of Public Utilities. The Department of Public Utilities creates a capital improvement budget, along with a working budget every year to every five years, creating a constant allocation of funds for projects similar to this.
Building the bio-retention cell, Spring 2018:
Two signs (above) describe the way bio-retention cells work, and the history of the location: a buried stream runs under/near both cells. See the old map of campus (above).