At our first Sustainability Task Force (STF) Meeting for the Fall of 2020, we heard from Jess Wilber of the Citizens Climate Lobby. Jess provided us with some “homework” to do in the next month, nicely summarized on the graphic included in this post. Click on the image for a PDF file of the document.
If you missed the meeting, it was recorded and you can watch it here.
Efforts include joining the OWU and national CCL group, registering to vote, getting involved in calling campaigns (they work!), getting involved in letter-writing campaigns (they work too), and registering for climate-related events.
OWU’s student chapter is already hard at work on these efforts. The student chapter of CCL meets every 1st and third Sunday at 4-4:30ish for an hour or so, and has additional events planned for the Fall semester. Please contact us if you want to attend these Zoom meetings.
For our next STF meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 13 (6:30-7:30 pm, Zoom) Jess will rejoin us to see how we are doing, and we can talk about and plan more efforts for the 2020-21 academic year.
The Greenspace Analysis summarizes existing GIS layers to identify land important for preservation. A scoring system was developed with consideration of parcel-based features (e.g. Parks & Golf Courses), linear features (e.g. Trails & Utility Easements), and features that span multiple parcels (e.g. Wetland & 100yr Floodplains).
Two scoring displays can be viewed in the web maps HERE. Screenshot below:
Additional interactive maps include
Find Your Home Watershed, Watershed Characteristics, Development in the Watershed, and Dams on the Lower Olentangy River: all HERE.
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!
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.
Students: It’s time to act together for Spring 2019 externships and Summer 2019 internships in the OWU region. These opportunities are available to any student, freshmen through senior.
We would like you to take the initiative and contact us if you are interested, as soon as possible, so we can work to line up opportunities for you.
Externships happen during the semester, typically unpaid and for credit (GEOG 495 or ENVS 495) and are about 8 hours a week.
Internships happen during the summer, typically paid and can be for credit (GEOG 495 or ENVS 495) and range from part to full time.
We are always adding partners and work to find specific opportunities if we know students are interested.
Please contact Dr. John Krygier (firstname.lastname@example.org) ASAP if you are interested.
Below find some internship/externship opportunities: This is not a complete list!
Summer Sustainability Seminar & Practicum:
Tentatively scheduled for 3 hours a week for 10 weeks over the summer, meeting (and eating) on MTSO’s campus. This seminar can be taken for credit if you wish. We hope to get many of the area summer interns together, including students from Otterbein and MTSO.
If you are interested in this funded, 10-week research program with OWU faclty (for students between their junior and senior years) please review information about the program here and talk to faculty you are interested in working with. If you are unsure, ask Dr. Krygier or Dr. Anderson. Students may attend the summer Sustainability Seminar and Practicum as part of the SSRP.
MTSO is a leader in food and environmental justice and this summer are tentatively offering several full-time internships which come with lodging, a stipend, and some food. Work last summer included the development of a worm composting table, work on pond restoration and assistance on the farm and with the farm’s food justice efforts. A great place to get all hot and sweaty working on a real farm growing real food for a noble purpose.
Delaware Public Utilities and GIS Department:
Typically working with OWU student and Public Utility employee (and all around terrific person) Janelle Valdinger, on various environmental and sustainability efforts. Recent student-involved projects include bio-retention cell planning and construction, utilities tracking and mapping, stormwater drain netting, green-roofed bike racks, composting and
Delaware Watershed and Sustainability Coordinator’s Office: Caroline Cicerchi:
Caroline and Janelle (Public Utilities) work closely together on sustainability, environmental and ecological projects. Caroline, like Janelle, is a masterful project coordinator and terrific to work with.
One of the longest-running relationships with our program is with the Stratford Ecological Center and Farm, just south of campus. OWU typically has 3-5 externships each semester, and several full-time internships each summer. Work is on projects related to the Center farm, its plants, and animals, its nature preserve, as well as environmental education with the many K-8 summer camps offered at Stratford.
With nine parks county-wide and more on the horizon, Preservation Parks is the primary organization developing and maintaining a range of green spaces which also include a working farm. A range of semester externships and summer internships focused on ecological projects, environmental education, outreach and other efforts. If you like to dress up like a 1930s farmer, this is your gig.
One of the largest water companies in the state of Ohio, both semester externships and summer internships are typically available. Projects include water infrastructure mapping, water sampling and analysis, and water education.
If your idea of summer fun is driving large tractors and bulldozers, look no further. Price Farms Organics is a regional leader in composting and typically employes a student or two to help with the practical aspects of large-scale composting.
15th Annual Olentangy Watershed Forum: Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Organized and Sponsored by:
When: Wednesday, October 10, 2018, from 8 a.m.— 3:30 p.m.
Registration: There is no cost, and lunch is included. Pre-registration requested by Monday, October 1st. To register, please contact Erin Gibson at email@example.com or 740-548-7746 ext. 2221.
Where: Ohio Wesleyan University
3rd floor of Merrick Hall: One building west of 50 South Henry St., Delaware 43015
*Parking in Selby Stadium Lot, 45 South Henry St.*
For the past 15 years, the Olentangy Watershed Forum has connected citizens and experts who wish to explore issues that impact the quality of life in the watershed. Please join us for state-of-the-watershed updates by the sponsors listed above along with Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District, the American Kayaking Association, and more! The cost to attend the Forum is free but registration is required. Seating is limited to 70, so walk-ins will be accommodated if space is available. Lunch will be provided. Participants can also expect a short walking tour to the proposed Delaware Run Restoration site.
8:00 – 9:00 Doors open for registration, coffee, and networking session
9:00 – 9:10 Welcome and Introduction – Caroline Cicerchi, City of Delaware
9:10 – 9:50 Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District, “Be the Change for Clean Water”
9:50 – 10:20 Heather Doherty, ODNR Scenic River Program, “Celebrating 50 Years of Ohio Scenic Rivers”10:20 – 10:35 BREAK
10:35 – 11:05 Dr. John Krygier, Ohio Wesleyan University, “Delaware Run Restoration Project”
11:05 – 11:45 Tour – Delaware Run restoration site
11:45 – 12:45 Lunch (included) and Networking
12:45 – 1:05 Jason Kentner, “Visioning for the Olentangy Watershed”
1:05 – 2:25 State of the Watershed Updates
1:25 – 1:40 BREAK
Update from Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW) by Ryan Pilewski regarding the greenspace planning in the Olentangy. FLOW was formed as a non-profit 501(c)3 in August 1997. FLOW’s mission is to keep the Olentangy River and its tributaries clean and safe for all to enjoy, through public education, volunteer activities, and coordination with local decision-makers.
Update from Del-Co Water by Jeff Kauffman. Del-Co Water Company, Inc. was formed in 1969 and provides quality drinking water to seven counties (Delaware, Morrow, Marion, Knox, Franklin, Union, and Crawford) serving a population of over 140,000.
Update from Preservation Parks by Chris Roshon. The mission of Preservation Parks of Delaware County is to protect and conserve the natural and historic features of Delaware County and to inspire outdoor exploration and learning.
Update from City of Delaware and Olentangy Watershed Alliance (OWA) by Caroline Cicerchi. The City of Delaware works diligently to protect existing storwmater infrastructure as well as the Olentangy River and its tributaries through its Stormwater Management Plan. OWA was formed as a non-profit in April 1999, with a mission to work in partnership with agriculture, urban, and other local communities to understand, appreciate, and responsibly use the Olentangy River, its tributaries, and watershed.
2:25 – 2:45 Sami Spiezio, American Kayaking Association, “Recreational Opportunities on the Olentangy”
2:45 – 3:15 Paul Freedman, City of Columbus, “Columbus Zoning Updates”
3:15 – 3:30 Eric Saas, Ohio EPA, “Rush Run Monitoring”
The monthly Community Matters newsletter is now available. The newsletter is created by the Sustainable Delaware organization. The newsletter is posted here, under the Sustainability in Delaware tab above.