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.

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.

Sept. 11: Olentangy River Festival!

The 8th Annual Olentangy River Festival will be held Saturday, September 11. For the first time, the festival is being held during the academic year, and OWU students can more easily participate.

Students who want to volunteer can contact John Krygier (ENVS)

OWU Sponsored Event: 17th Annual Virtual Olentangy Watershed Forum, Thursday, Oct. 22

17th Annual Virtual Olentangy Watershed Forum, October 22, 2020


Recording of event is here.


Please register using this Eventbrite link. To get the Zoom link, check your email (OWU students, staff and faculty) or contact Carline Cicerchi or John Krygier.


The Annual Olentangy Watershed Forum brings together a series of speakers to discuss the status of the watershed. This year features Keynote speaker Jonathan Overpeck, co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize as part of the United Nations advisory group on climate change and Dean of the School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan, “American Rivers and Climate Change: a Tale of Two Hydrologic Extremes”

The forum is great for regional practitioners as well as students, who can network and make contacts for internships and projects.


8:00 – 8:10 Welcome and introductions, Sean Kay, Ohio Wesleyan University

8:10 – 8:55 Keynote speaker: Jonathan Overpeck, co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize as part of the United Nations advisory group on climate change and Dean of the School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan, “American Rivers and Climate Change: a Tale of Two Hydrologic Extremes”

8:55 – 9:05: Q & A

State of the Watershed Updates

9:05 – 9:15: Update from Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW) by Kelly Thiel. 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.

9:15 – 9:30: 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.

9:30 – 9:45: Update from City of Delaware and Olentangy Watershed Alliance (OWA) by Caroline Cicerchi. The City of Delaware works diligently to protect existing stormwater infrastructure as well as the Olentangy River and its tributaries through its Stormwater Management Program. OWA was formed as a non-profit in April 1999, with a mission to inspire appreciation and stewardship of the Upper Olentangy River and its watershed.

9:45 – 9:55: 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.

9:55 – 10:05: Q & A and Break

10:05 – 10:15: Vanessa Bishop, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

10:15 – 10:30: Erin Wolfe, Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District. “Del-Aware Water: Outreach Efforts in the Watershed”

10:30 – 10:50: Jim Palus, FLOW. “Putting FLOW’s Greenspace Implementation Plan Into Action”

10:50 – 11:20: Ed Rankin & Anthony Sasson, Midwest Biodiversity Institute, “Fish and Mussels Trends in the Central Scioto River Basin”

11:20-11:50: Jesse Womack, The Nature Conservancy. “The Nature Conservancy & the Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework”

11:50 – 12:00: Janelle Valdinger, Ohio Wesleyan University, “Connecting with Career Connection”

Videos: Careers in Water Management Speaker Series (October, 2020)

Careers in Water Management Speaker Series I: Video

  • Jeff Paetz, Phoenix Environmental (15 minutes)
  • Heather Sheets, Ohio Clean Marinas (15 minutes)
  • Caroline Cicerchi, City of Delaware (15 minutes)

Careers in Water Management Speaker Series II: Video

  • Sarah Orlando, Ohio Sea Grant (15 minutes)
  • Chad Spring, City of Delaware (15 minutes)
  • Erin Wolfe, Delaware SWCD (15 minutes)
  • Janelle Valdinger, Ohio Wesleyan University (10 minutes)

Careers in Water Management Speaker Series III: Video

  • Christine Szymanski, ODNR Scenic Rivers (15 minutes)
  • Jeff Kauffman, Del-Co Water Company (15 minutes)
  • Chris Roshon, Preservation Parks (15 minutes)

This Week: OWU Event: Water Management Careers – Students hear from Professionals

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.


Contact Caroline Cicerchi for Zoom Details:

Careers in Water Management Speaker Series I

 Monday, Oct. 5 from 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM: 

  • Jeff Paetz, Phoenix Environmental (15 minutes)
  • Heather Sheets, Ohio Clean Marinas (15 minutes)
  • Caroline Cicerchi, City of Delaware (15 minutes)

Careers in Water Management Speaker Series II

Tuesday, Oct. 6 from 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM:

  • Sarah Orlando, Ohio Sea Grant (15 minutes)
  • Chad Spring, City of Delaware (15 minutes)
  • Erin Wolfe, Delaware SWCD (15 minutes)
  • Janelle Valdinger, Ohio Wesleyan University (10 minutes)

Careers in Water Management Speaker Series III

Wednesday, Oct. 7 from 11:50 AM – 12:40 PM: 

  • Christine Szymanski, ODNR Scenic Rivers (15 minutes)
  • Jeff Kauffman, Del-Co Water Company (15 minutes)
  • Chris Roshon, Preservation Parks (15 minutes)

The Delaware Run winds through the City of Delaware and Ohio Wesleyan campus. (Photo by Cole Hatcher)

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
  • Phoenix Environmental

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 ccicerchi@delawareohio.net. Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s Environment and Sustainability Program at owu.edu/environment.

OWU Event: Water Management Careers – Students hear from Professionals

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 Delaware Run winds through the City of Delaware and Ohio Wesleyan campus. (Photo by Cole Hatcher)

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
  • Phoenix Environmental

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 ccicerchi@delawareohio.net. Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s Environment and Sustainability Program at owu.edu/environment.

#OWUENVS

In the overwhelming crush of media about the COVID 19 pandemic we don’t want to lose sight of the profound importance of the environment.

#OWUENVS is a collective effort to push environmental news and ideas and advocacy and creative efforts out through social media and other media by students, faculty, and staff in the Environment & Sustainability Program at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Find or create relevant stuff. Anything having to do with the environment anywhere. Links, ideas, videos, maps, photos, music, data, artwork, etc. Focus on the stuff you care about.

Put it out there: use the hashtag or tag #OWUENVS so we can track the effort. Focus on the media you use. On social media, video sites, music sites, whatever. Be creative.

Please let Meg Edwards or  John Krygier or Laurie Anderson know if you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions.

This effort is what we make it. It keeps us connected, and it matters.

 

 

Do Something! OWU Volunteers Needed for Spring Cleaning & Planting

Last year President Trump and President Macron of France planted a lovely oak tree on the White House lawn. Sadly, the tree is now dead.

Let’s do better!

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).

City of Delaware’s Earth Day Program April 22nd: Register here

The Scioto River if we didn’t do the river clean up every year:

 

 

Ohio Wesleyan Professor, Student, Entrepreneurial Center Businessman Earn 2019 Awards

(OWU News Source)

At the recent Keep Delaware County Beautiful Awards, Ohio Wesleyan professor Sean Kay, student Brianna Graber ’20, and entrepreneur-on-campus Steve Flaherty all were honored for their efforts to improve the environment.

The awards were handed out Dec. 4 by the Keep Delaware County Beautiful Coalition, which provides recycling and litter prevention programs and environmental education activities to county residents and businesses. The coalition is led by the Delaware General Health District.

Sean Kay, Ph.D.

Sean Kay, Ph.D., a politics and government professor, earned the group’s Garrison-Brown Award for his volunteer work at the 2019 Northern Olentangy Watershed Festival, Olentangy River Cleanup, and Scioto River Clean Sweep, where he used his kayaking expertise to keep volunteers safe and moving forward as they pulled debris from the water. According to the coalition, the Garrison-Brown Award “is given to recognize initiative and significant environmental contribution to the community.”

Although Kay is widely known as an expert in global security, he also is interested in environmental issues and currently is researching grassroots campaigns for river conservation in the United States and abroad.

In May and June, he will be traveling to Utah and Colorado with OWU students who completed his Travel-Learning Course, “Environmental Politics and Policy.” After a semester in class, the group will spend 10 days in the two western states, including a four-day river-rafting trip through Dinosaur National Monument. To prepare for the trip, Kay spent two weeks over the summer working as an assistant guide rafting down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.

As part of his hands-on research, Kay also has been working on the River Shannon, Ireland’s largest river, and exploring the Dublin Bay biosphere, a region recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for its environmental, economic, cultural, and tourism significance.

Brianna Graber ’20

Student Brianna Graber, a zoology major and Spanish minor from Noblesville, Indiana, was honored with the Keep Delaware County Beautiful’s 2019 Litter Prevention Award. She earned the award for spearheading a project to install a trash-collecting storm drain net in the Delaware Run, which flows through campus. The device collects trash and organic debris, which Graber and future OWU students will analyze to determine the net’s impact on the quality of the water.

Steve Flaherty

Entrepreneur Steve Flaherty earned the coalition’s 2019 Recycling Award for his work to develop technology that turns non-recyclable plastics into asphalt paving. His business, necoPlastics LLC, is headquartered at the Delaware Entrepreneurial Center at Ohio Wesleyan University.

The 6,000-square-foot entrepreneurial center is a collaboration of Ohio Wesleyan, Delaware County, and the City of Delaware. It is the first-of-its-kind liberal arts business accelerator and the first-of-its-kind city, county, and educational institute partnership.

The Keep Delaware County Beautiful coalition, led by the Delaware General Health District, provides recycling and litter prevention programs and environmental education activities to the residents and businesses of Delaware County. For a complete list of 2019 award winners, visit the health district news and events page.