Established and ongoing efforts in environment and sustainability by Ohio Wesleyan students, staff and faculty and off-campus collaborators active during the 2016-17 academic year.
What if we used voracious megafauna – goats – to remove invasive honeysuckle? Amur honeysuckle is an invasive species covering large areas of the U.S. The plant has significant negative impacts on ecosystems and has been extensively researched. Mechanical removal of honeysuckle is typically recommended as most effective. However, mechanical removal is difficult, time-consuming, and thus costly. Might goats be the answer?
OWU’s Spring 2015 May Move Out focused on getting students to donate reusable items to Goodwill (by placing them in storage pods) while moving out of the dorms. Overall about 19,000 pounds of material was collected by Goodwill throughout the May Move Out period. That is about 9.5 tons of material kept out of the landfill (and close to our estimated 10 ton diversion rate).
In order to mitigate the loss of habitat for wildlife we have began enhancing wildlife habitat across OWU’s campus. A few species were selected in order to jump start OWU’s involvement in rehabilitating habitat area within Delaware. Bats, birds, squirrels, and solitary bees are all common area natives and were targeted to boost ecosystem productivity due to their ecological importance.
In the Spring of 2012, Geog 360 student, Sarah D’ Alexander embarked on a major campus donation drive known as the May Move Out. The purpose of this project was to collect many of the items students typically throw away at the end of the year and donate these items to local charities and the OWU Freestore. It was estimated that 43 tons of “waste” was donated and kept from the massive dumpsters set up all around campus.
A small wetlands area exists at the edge of Ohio Wesleyan’s campus, pinched between the recreational trail, US Highway 23, and OWU Athletic fields. This habitat, artificially created by the significant landscape modifications in the area over the past 100+ years, supports salamanders and other wildlife, despite poor water quality, noise, half-buried waste from an old Ohio Wesleyan dump, and garbage. This project builds on an earlier project that removed garbage from the area and provided a basic assessment of the location and animal species present.