Another TPG started in ENVS 110!

 

Savannah will be interviewed on the Mid Ohio Breakfast Club Radio Show on Friday, October 14 around 8:15am. The show airs weekdays from 6am-9am on My967 at 96.7 FM or AM 1270 WDLR.

Adopt-A-Drain

Ohio Wesleyan Student Collaborates to Launch Water-Quality Improvement Program

By Cole Hatcher

Savannah Domenech ’25

DELAWARE, Ohio – As a high school student volunteering to clean up litter in her New York hometown, Savannah Domenech quickly realized that a coordinated, continuous effort involving lots of people was necessary to make the type of permanent, positive environmental impact she sought to achieve.

As an Ohio Wesleyan University student, Domenech, a sophomore from Webster, New York, found an opportunity to collaborate with the City of Delaware and the community to improve local water quality. This month, she is spearheading the launch of the city’s Adopt-a-Drain program that invites people to adopt storm drains and clean them regularly to prevent trash and other debris from entering area waterways.

“Be a stormwater hero – adopt a drain!” said Domenech, an Environmental Studies and Geography double-major. “Any person can agree to do a biweekly clean-up on and around a storm drain of their choosing within Delaware City.”

Those who choose to participate are improving the environment with “simple, quick actions” that will help to reduce localized flooding, improve stormwater quality, and enhance community and neighborhood cleanliness, she said.

Domenech began working on the Adopt-a-Drain project in her ENVS 110 (Introduction to Environment and Sustainability) class and has earned an OWU Connection grant to help her launch the Adopt-a-Drain program.

She is beginning the project in earnest this month by encouraging members of the OWU campus community to adopt drains to clean and maintain. In November, she plans to roll out the program to the larger Delaware community when a Stormwater Watch Quarterly newsletter will be mailed to residents with their utility bills and posters will be posted around downtown. More details and sign-up information are available online now at stormwater.owu.edu.

David Soliday, Ohio Wesleyan’s instructional technologist, was first in line to adopt a drain and help Domenech test the program’s protocols.

“I’m happy to help,” said Soliday, also a longtime member of the Sustainable Delaware environmental community group. “As an adopter, I’ll be keeping the drain clear of debris. This includes leaves in the fall, and any kind of trash or litter. I have committed to fill out a brief survey when I do, to track how much and what kind of debris I collect.

“These drains empty into the Olentangy River, which is the source of our tap water in the city,” said Soliday, who hopes others embrace the green initiative. “Excessive debris can clog the pipes, and otherwise complicate matters downstream, where the same river is a valuable resource for Worthington, Columbus, and other communities. My taking responsibility for this drain also helps raise awareness of our connection to the natural world around us.”

As people adopt drains, Domenech said, their “I’m adopted!” choices will be mapped online using the ArcGIS Online software.

Domenech’s project is being completed in collaboration with the City of Delaware’s Department of Public Utilities; Erin Wolfe, the city’s watershed and sustainability coordinator; and Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Environment and Sustainability.

Press release below duplicated from here.

Olentangy Watershed Forum, Wed, November 2, 2022

The Olentangy Watershed Forum has been held on OWU’s campus for the last few years but is moving to a new venue for the Fall of 2022, at Highbanks Metropark, about 20 minutes south of Delaware.

This is a great event to hear about regional watershed issues from an array of local, municipal, county and state folks who’s work focuses on the environment. It has been a very good networking opportunity for students in the past.


Reserve a spot and a free lunch (register by Oct. 29) here

If enough students are interested, we can arrange to carpool. Contact Krygier.


Join us for a day-long seminar to hear updates about the watershed. This is for any resident or watershed professional who would like to stay up to date on watershed issues, or simply gain more knowledge on the watershed. Network with water quality professionals from across central Ohio. Guest speakers will discuss the Olentangy River Wetlands Park research, Olentangy wildlife updates, updates from watershed groups, and opportunities to get involved.

We will meet in the Multipurpose Room in the Visitor Center at Highbanks Metro Park. We encourage you to carpool due to limited parking at the Visitor Center. Lunch will be provided for those who register by October 29th. You are still welcome to attend if you aren’t able to register until after October 29th, but we might not be able to provide lunch for those who register after this date. Please bring your own water bottle to refill, and a coffee mug to reduce single-use coffee cup waste.

Please contact Erin Wolfe, ewolfe@delawareohio.net, or 740-203-1905, if you have dietary restrictions or prefer a vegan lunch.

Camp Oh-Wooo Service in Glen Echo Ravine, Aug. 20, 2022

A big bunch of new OWU Freshmen and assorted handlers spent a very pleasant morning pulling out invasive plants and planting native species.

The walk in to the site, through Glen Echo Park.

About 15 large lawn waste bags of periwinkle and dwarf honeysuckle – both invasives that negatively affect leaf-litter (and thus a key habitat for reptiles and other animals) – were removed.

Students also planted native wild geraniums.

 

Update: Summer Experience for Central Ohio Internship Students

The Summer ’22 ROAR Academy is a great “add-on” to any Central Ohio student in an internship related to environment & sustainability. The Academy includes some training and credentialing, social events, and excursions. The experience also promotes networking with a significant group of central Ohio organizations and professionals.

A tentative schedule of activities is below. Cool stuff. Three OWU students are participating and about a dozen additional students from Kenyon, Denison and Otterbein.

Contact: Terry Hermsen: thermsen@otterbein.edu

PDF of the above image is here.

Green Week, May Move Out, Food Recovery Network … !!!

Green Week 2022 +++

Ohio Wesleyan Student Event to Celebrate Earth Day and Other Eco-Friendly Initiatives

By Cole Hatcher

One day – or even one week – isn’t enough time to highlight all of the Earth-friendly initiatives being spearheaded on campus this spring by Ohio Wesleyan University students.

Instead, Environment and Sustainability students, residents of the Tree House small living unit, and others are planning a Green Week that will kick off Monday, April 18, and conclude Tuesday, April 26.

“Yep, Green Week and a half,” said John Krygier, Ph.D., professor of Environment & Sustainability.

A Packed Calendar

Students are planning a calendar of activities that includes information about how to reduce, recycle, and repurpose waste along with lunchtime tabling sessions with long-term environmental partners Del-Co Water Company and the city’s Public Utilities Department to discuss sustainability efforts. Both organizations also will share career and internship information.

The Green Week activities will include an April 23 trash cleanup in collaboration with the Unity Community Center and conclude April 26 with students enrolled in a renewable energy course presenting their research at 10:30 a.m. in the atrium of Schimmel/Conrades Science Center.

Treehouse moderator SK Bulander ’23 of Los Angeles, California, is coordinating this year’s events calendar.

“2040 is the non-negotiable deadline of overhauling our fossil fuel-dependent world before the Earth reaches a global average temperature of 1.5°C and is irreversibly damaged,” said Bulander, an Environmental Science and English (Literature) double major. “In the shadow of such a gargantuan task, it can be terrifying and stressful to even consider the idea of sustainability. My vision for Green Week is that it will give OWU students the tools to make meaningful lifestyle changes that are bite-sized.”

Numerous Opportunities to Get Involved

“Look for activities like ‘Plant-based Problem Solving,’ where students can learn about everyday low-waste and plant-based swaps, and ‘Bee-less Wax Wraps,’ which will instruct on how to make vegan wax wraps as an alternative to plastic wrap, plastic bags, tin foil, plastic lids, and many other single-use items. Make sure to donate old clothes to the pop-up campus trade store and pick up some new, re-used fits,” Bulander continued.

“Meanwhile, Green Week will provide students with a space to analyze the corporate forces driving the climate crisis,” she said. “This includes events like ‘An Introduction to Textiles,’ wherein students will learn about the environmental impacts of the textile industry, and ‘The Root of it: How Community Gardens in the U.S. Combat Food Insecurity,’ at which students can participate in a discussion panel with local community gardens and OWU professors on food insecurity at both the national and local level.

I hope that it will be apparent that there are numerous on-campus and nearby groups pushing for environmental action,” Bulander concluded. “Students looking to get more involved in the environmental side of OWU should join the Sustainability Task Force for monthly meetings that bring together the university’s administrators, faculty, staff, and students for updates on OWU’s environmental movements. It provides a great space for networking for careers in sustainability and acts as an excellent starting point for becoming more involved in clubs. I would also recommend they try out Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) to advocate for local, bipartisan carbon emission-cutting legislation, especially in our extremely divisive political landscape today.”

May Move Out Recycling

On Earth Day (April 22), the group will launch this year’s May Move Out initiative, which urges students to donate usable clothing, books, furniture, household goods, and other items as they clear out their rooms at the end of the semester. Begun in 2012, the decade-old program typically recovers 10 tons of material annually that otherwise would go to a landfill.

Large, temporary storage pods will be set up to collect donations in parking lots at the Chi Phi fraternity on Williams Drive and at the Bradford Milligan, Smith, Stuyvesant, and Welch residence halls. Items will be accepted from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the collection period and then donated to Goodwill. For more information and a list of acceptable items and donation dates, visit maymoveout.owu.edu.

May Move Out coordinator Graham Steed ’23 of Marion, Ohio, said he hopes students take the time to sort and donate all of their recyclables.

“Each item they dispose of has great impact on the well-being of our ecosystem and society,” said Steed, an Environmental Studies major. “Not only does each piece of trash travel great distances to landfills within our country or others, which produces large amounts of CO2, but also once they get there, they pollute the local community from toxic runoff. These communities are most often poor and communities of color, which further adds an intersectional aspect to this issue.”

Recovering Food, Nourishing Others

In addition to Green Week and May Move Out, Ohio Wesleyan students this semester also are relaunching an initiative to share unused dining hall food with the community. Ohio Wesleyan is a member of the national Food Recovery Network.

Students Abby Charlton ’25 of Newark, Ohio, and Savannah Domenech ’25 of Webster, New York, are overseeing this renewed effort, which includes collecting unused food once a week.

Domenech, an Environmental Studies and Geography double major, said of a recent collection, “we got over 30 pounds of food consisting of buffalo chicken, beef brisket, steamed rice, and mixed vegetables. However, in the past, the club has gotten over a hundred pounds of food for one recovery. After we weigh the food, we cart it over to Grace Clinic across the street, and they distribute it to their patients.”

Improving Water Quality

Another initiative restored this semester is the use of a storm net to collect debris from the Delaware Run, which flows through the north side of campus on its way to the Olentangy River. The 13,000-pound, 4-foot-high, 18.5-foot-wide, concrete-weighted storm net structure was installed into the Delaware Run in 2019, prior to the pandemic.

Students Logan Honchul ’24 of Trenton, Ohio, and AJ Lashway ’23 of Niskayuna, New York, began working with the City of Delaware’s Department of Public Utilities this semester to restore the net, monitor it, and analyze the items collected.

“I’m hoping to get more experience in water-quality testing, since my background in that aspect is more limited,” said Lashway, a Zoology, Environmental Science, and Creative Writing triple major. “It’s such an important part of understanding the health of bodies of water, so I’m excited to get better at properly analyzing the collected data. It will also be a great experience to be able potentially make changes based on the information we gather.”

Honchul said she also is interested in learning and honing skills to support her career goal of working in wildlife conservation.

“As a Zoology major, I have a strong passion for animals, and working with them in any capacity excites me,” said Honchul, who is double majoring in Environmental Science and minoring in Communications. “I hope I am able to help improve the local wildlife habitat. I hope to learn about how much litter and debris really affect local water life.”

Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Environment and Sustainability at owu.edu/environment.

Moving Sustainability Forward at OWU: Upcoming Meetings

Mark your calendars and watch for more information on two upcoming really important meetings regarding sustainability at OWU:

Thursday, February 10 at 6 pm (Beeghly Library 2nd Floor Bayley Room)
Friday, February 11 at noon (Beeghly Library 2nd Floor Bayley Room)

We are asking for volunteers to help with the first significant update to OWU’s Sustainability Plan since 2017. This is good for OWU and good for participants, who will engage in what is in essence a professional sustainability effort. This group and its efforts are not formally affiliated with or endorsed by the OWU administration but will develop a plan and set of recommendations in line with current sustainability practices, at peer institutions, organizations, and companies.

I will update this blog posting in the near future with more details.

Some background:

It’s been five years since OWU’s first Sustainability Plan – created by students – was adopted by OWU. The plan is, frankly, a bit toothless. It was vetted by students (primarily Emily Howald, ’18) and adjusted to the realities of an institution that was not yet ready to commit to more challenging sustainability goals. Keep in mind this was a time of major fundraising for the very important OWU Connection and also one of increasing enrollment challenges (felt by all colleges, as the number of college-age students declines in the US).

OWU is making progress. For example, the map below (right mouse click to see larger map) documents both existing and proposed sustainability projects on campus. These are largely grassroots projects, most involving students and the OWU Connection.

Move forward to Fall of 2021. Fred Copeman, OWU ’11, is in the graduate program for Sustainability Management at Columbia University. He takes on OWU as a case study, in a course, assessing the means by which OWU can seriously institute sustainability institution-wide.

Spring 2022: Fred will be on campus to move the effort forward on Thursday, February 10, and Friday, February 11. Meetings with students, staff, and faculty are scheduled for Thursday, February 10 at 6 pm (Beeghly Library 2nd Floor Bayley Room) and Friday, February 11 at noon (Beeghly Library 2nd Floor Bayley Room).

Updates coming soon.

2021 Olentangy Watershed Forum @ OWU @ Wed. Oct. 27

It is still possible to pre-register via Erin Gibson: see contact information above. Folks from OWU should feel free to drop in if interested.

The Forum will be held on the 3rd floor of OWU’s Merrick Hall, from 9am-4pm on Wednesday, October 27.

DOES Lunch: Alex Clemetson: Environmental Justice & Race: Tues. Oct. 5 @ Noon

Environment and Race: The Work of Sustainable Community Building

Department of Environment & Sustainability @ OWU

We welcome Alex Clemetson to Ohio Wesleyan to speak to us about his work and experiences surrounding environmentalism and race.

The intention of this discussion is to begin an initial examination into the intersections of environmental justice and injustice, race, and the communities that surround these co-existing realities. Within this DOES Lunch we will also examine the foundations of the communities we are connected to and the sustainable practices of community building that may or may not be in place.

Please come and learn about his experiences and collaborating to make the field of the environment a more equitable space.

When: Tuesday 05 October 2021 at noon
Where: SCSC #207 (GIS Lab)

We’re currently working on some form of food available, so please let Dr. Rowley know if you have any food restrictions.

 

OWU Sustainability Task Force Meeting: Sept 27 @ Noon @ Merrick 201

Dr. Krygier in the OWU ENVS Dunk Tank at the Olentangy River Festival (Sept. 2021)

Our first STF Meeting for the Fall of 2021 is Monday, Sept. 27 @ noon in 201 Merrick Hall.

Organizer: AJ Lashaway

Dr. Krygier/AJ→ OWU Outside update (hopefully MTSO reaches out, call Audubon)(make QR code for groupme)
→ Chimney Swift tower
→ Energy Projects: big and small
→ Bioretention Cells
→ any other sustainability things going on on campus

Ed Pullen→ recycling + waste management on campus

Erin Wolfe→ sustainability in Delaware
→ watershed
→ events OWU students can attend/opportunities available to them

SK (Treehouse) → Green Week, house events outside students can attend/help with

And SO much MORE.

May Move Out ’21

After a year’s pause, due to the COVID, May Move Out is back for 2021.

May Move Out is OWU’s student-created and managed program to keep tons of usable materials out of the landfill each spring.

Volunteers contact Meg Edwards: email or sign up on this spreadsheet.

It’s simple:

Students can easily donate unneeded stuff to Goodwill as they move off-campus.

Mobile storage pods with May Move Out banners are placed around the residential side of campus for ease of donation.

Dump your stuff in the pod and get on your way. It’s that easy.

In previous years we’ve deferred up to 10 tons of reusable stuff.

More info here: http://maymoveout.owu.edu