15th Annual Olentangy Watershed Forum: Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Photo source: Ohio EPA

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 egibson@delcowater.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.

Press Release: Here

Preliminary Agenda

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”

Sustainable Gardening: New OWU .25 Credit Activity Course 2nd Module Spring 2017

OWU students and faculty have initiated an effort to offer sustainability themed quarter credit activity courses beginning in the 2nd module for the spring semester of 2017.

This Activity Course has been postponed to the Fall of 2017! Contact Emily Howald for more information.

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OWU students and faculty have initiated an effort to offer sustainability themed quarter credit activity courses beginning in the 2nd module for the spring semester of 2017. Instead of yoga or bowling (which are both great) you can instead get active digging in the dirt.

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The class is run by staff from the very nearby Seminar Hill Farm, a leading regional organic farm. The class is one part of a strategy to make our campus garden sustainable and productive.

The class meets M and W from 2:30-3:30 in the garden near the old observatory on campus. Please contact Emily Howald for more information. Watch for the course as an option in the near future on Self-Service.

OWU Environmental Studies & Sustainability Progress, Spring 2017

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.

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. 

A PDF of this document is available here.
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OWU Sustainability Plan: As a liberal arts institution, Ohio Wesleyan University must be a leader in progressive sustainability initiatives through educational, technical, and social means. The proposed Ohio Wesleyan Sustainability Plan (click for PDF) is intended to invigorate and expand a culture of sustainability that has a positive impact on the environment. Draft of the OWU Sustainability Plan, created by faculty, staff and students, is complete and being revised and vetted. Students in our Sustainability Practicum are currently arranging to move the proposed plan through OWU’s administrative network during the spring of 2017.
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May Move Out: A student-initiated project in collaboration with Goodwill, to defer usable materials from the trash as students move off campus in May. We defer 10 tons of reusable furniture, appliances, clothes, bikes, etc. on average, each May. Students are currently meeting with OWU’s Buildings & Grounds and Residential Life staff to plan for and promote the 2017 May Move Out. Ohio Wesleyan’s May Move Out program was awarded the 2015 Recycling Award from the Keep Delaware County Beautiful Coalition.

Reusable Food Containers in Hamilton Williams Campus Center: A student project initiated in the Fall of 2015 is being expanded during the spring of 2017. A new dishwasher was installed in our campus center in part to provide adequate washing of the containers. Students and campus food service staff are working to improve and expand the program during the Spring of 2017.

Environmental Science Major: A proposal for an Environmental Science major (in addition to our 39 year old Environmental Studies major) will be brought before OWU committees and faculty for consideration and approval during the Spring of 2017.

Environmental Studies Minor in Food Studies: A Food Studies Minor (developed from the Food Course Connection) is in place (a collaboration between Health and Human Kinetics [HHK] and Environmental Studies). Two more minors, Sustainability and Climate Science are being developed.

Living Green Infrastructure Proposal: Students and staff are working on a proposal for a Living Green residence hall option. 1) Develop structural sustainability. 2) Allow students to live more sustainably by reducing their water, energy, and material waste. 3) Include workshop/classroom area for sustainable learning (repair, self-production). 4) Trained RA’s to be sustainable life assistants.

Delaware Foodshed Farm and Food Collaboration: Building on the Food Studies Minor and student interest in gardens, farming and food, OWU faculty in Environmental Studies and HHK are developing a collaboration between Stratford Ecological Center farms and the Methodist School of Ohio farms. Initial efforts will focus on student internships and engagement of OWU in a regional food network. With financial support for staff (donations or grants) campus gardens will be developed. Efforts will focus on the practice of ecologically sound farming, food production, regional food networks and social outreach (building on the existing Cooking Matters Program, organized by Dr. Chris Fink) to engage students and community members in growing food.

Environmental and Sustainability Internships: Eight to ten internships are being offered on a regular basis at Stratford Ecological Center and the City of Delaware. Foci include environmental education, marketing, farming, and sustainability. Additional internships will be available at the Seminary Hill Farm (Methodist Theological School of Ohio) Fall 2017.

Global Environmental Change Collaboration & Travel Learning Course: OWU collaboration with Amy Work (OWU ‘04) and her organization GeoPorter in Bahia Ballena-Uvita, Costa Rica. Learning and using environmental assessment methods in Delaware, Ohio (Fall 2017) and during a travel learning course trip (Dr. Nathan Amador’s Geography 347) to coastal Costa Rica (January 2018). Goal: to understand how local environmental data is collected and relates to regional and global climate and environmental change.

Chimney Swift Towers: A collaboration between students and OWU Alumni Dick Tuttle (OWU 1973) to build a chimney swift tower on the residential side of campus. Plans have been drawn up and cost estimates provided by a contractor. Funds will be provided by Tuttle. We anticipate construction during the spring or summer of 2017 pending approval from B&G and OWU’s Administration.

Campus Wildlife Habitat Enhancements: Student efforts continue to install and maintain bird houses, feeders and solitary bee houses on campus.

Green Week 2017: Building on a successful week of events in 2016, students are organizing another week of events for the spring of 2017 (the week prior to Earth Day).

Delaware Run Assessment and Restoration: Ongoing project focused on restoring Delaware Run between Sandusky St. and Henry St. Emerging collaboration with stream restoration specialists who propose restoration of the stream and adjacent riparian zone in return for state of Ohio stream credits. Currently waiting on the establishment of an official Ohio stream banking and credit procedure.

Bottled Water Sales Reduction: Student-led efforts to drive down bottled water purchases on campus, including the installation of hydration stations and promotion of reusable water bottles. Bottled water sales have dropped significantly in the last three years. We continue to install hydration stations (filtered water) at key locations as an alternative to bottled water.

OWU Environmental Studies & Sustainability Progress, Spring 2016

A summary of established and ongoing efforts during 2015-16 in environment and sustainability by Ohio Wesleyan students, staff and faculty as well as off campus collaborators.

Stitched together drone images of central Bahia Ballena-Uvita, Costa Rica. Environmental Studies / Geography Travel Learning Course, Fall 2015.

Environmental Studies & Sustainability Progress, Spring 2016

March 7, 2016

A summary of established and ongoing efforts in environment and sustainability by Ohio Wesleyan students, staff and faculty as well as off campus collaborators. All the projects below are active during the 2015-16 academic year.

OWU Sustainability Plan: Drafted in the spring of 2015 and currently under revision, a comprehensive overview of OWU’s environmental and sustainability efforts with goals for future efforts.

May Move Out donations, May 2015.

May Move Out: A student initiated project in collaboration with Goodwill, to defer usable materials from the trash as students move off campus in May. 9.5 tons of donations collected in the spring of 2015. One year grant funding offset costs for the 2015 May Move Out. Efficiencies initiated by Buildings & Grounds have made the 2016 May Move Out possible without the grant and without additional expenditures over last year’s budget for dumpsters alone. Ohio Wesleyan’s May Move Out program was awarded the 2015 Recycling Award from the Keep Delaware County Beautiful Coalition.

Reusable Food Containers in Hamilton Williams Campus Center: A student project initiated in the fall of 2015 has met with success and is being expanded during the spring of 2016. A new dishwasher was installed in HWCC over the summer, making reusable containers an option. Limitations of OWU’s aging ID Card system and cash registers limit further expansion of the program.

Environmental Studies Mentored Minors: A Food Studies Minor (developed from the Food Course Connection) has been officially proposed to APC (as a collaboration between Health and Human Kinetics [HHK] and Environmental Studies). Two more minors, Sustainability and Climate Science are being developed.

Farm and Food Collaboration: Building on the Food Studies Minor and student interest in gardens, farming and food, OWU faculty in Environmental Studies and HHK are developing a collaboration between Stratford Ecological Center farms and the Methodist School of Ohio farms. Initial efforts will focus on student internships and engagement of OWU in a regional food network. With financial support for staff (donations or grants) campus gardens will be developed. Efforts will focus on the practice of ecologically sound farming, food production, regional food networks and social outreach (building on the existing Cooking Matters Program, organized by Dr. Chris Fink) to engage students and community members in growing food.

Environmental and Sustainability Internships: 10 internships at Stratford Ecological Center and the City of Delaware, spring 2016. Focused on environmental education, marketing, farming, and sustainability.

Amy Work (OWU '06) and Olivia Lease (OWU '17) working with drone imagery, Bahia Uviata, Costa Rica, January '16
Amy Work (OWU ’06) and Olivia Lease (OWU ’17) working with drone imagery, Bahia Ballena-Uvita, Costa Rica, January ’16.

Global Environmental Change Collaboration & Travel Learning Course: OWU collaboration with Amy Work (OWU 2004) and her organization GeoPorter in Bahia Ballena-Uvita, Costa Rica. Learning and using environmental assessment methods in Delaware, Ohio (Fall 2015) and during a travel learning course trip (Geography 347) to coastal Costa Rica (January 2016). Goal: to understand how local environmental data is collected and relates to regional and global climate and environmental change.

Proposed locations for chimney swift towers, near Stuyvesant Hall on the OWU campus.

Chimney Swift Towers: A collaboration between students and OWU Alumni Dick Tuttle (OWU 1973) to build a chimney swift tower on the residential side of campus. Plans have been drawn up and a budget is being developed by a contractor. Funds will be provided by Tuttle. We anticipate construction this summer pending approval from B&G and OWU’s Administration.

Bird feeders near the Schimmel Conrades Science Center on the OWU campus.

Campus Wildlife Habitat Enhancements: Student efforts to install and maintain bird houses, feeders and solitary bee houses on campus.

The Place of Waste: Exploring Asian and Western Perspectives on Waste, Sustainability & Environment. Sagan National Colloquium & Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment. Funding received from the Luce Foundation and OWU’s Sagan National Colloquium by faculty in East Asian Studies and Environmental Studies to explore the idea of waste in cross cultural context. Funding for a Fall 2015 Symposium and Summer 2015 and 2016 travel to Asia. Next round of funding (up to $400k) to be submitted summer of 2016.

Green Week 2016: Building on a successful water-focused week of events in 2015, students are organizing another week of events for the spring of 2016 (the week prior to Earth Day).

Meek Retention Pond Native Species Planting: A collaboration between students and Friends of the Lower Olentangy Arboretum (FLOW) who have provided funds for the purchase of native plants, shrubs and trees to be planted adjacent to the Meek Aquatic Center retention pond.

Proposal for Delaware run restoration.

Delaware Run Assessment and Restoration: Ongoing student research focused on restoring Delaware Run between Sandusky St. and Henry St. Emerging collaboration with stream restoration specialists who propose restoration of the stream and adjacent riparian zone in return for state of Ohio stream credits. Ongoing hydrogeological assessment, Spring 2016.

“Salamander Swamp” Restoration and Research: Student-driven efforts to rehabilitate a campus wetland (behind the tennis courts on Henry St.). Initial research has focused on environmental assessment of the impact of invasive species in the wetlands area.

Bottled Water Sales Reduction: Student-led efforts to drive down bottled water purchases on campus, including the installation of hydration stations and promotion of reusable water bottles. Chartwells reports declining campus sales for bottled water.

Food Recovery Network: Student-initiated effort to donate unused campus food to lower-income Delaware residents through a clinic nearby campus.

 

2015 OWU Campus Bird Nesting Season Data

Earlier this year a posting about Bird, Bee & Bat Habitat on OWU’s Campus detailed the construction and placement of, among other things, a series of bird houses and feeders on OWU’s campus. Dick Tuttle has documented the bird’s use of the houses and feeders over the summer and provides the following report.

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Earlier this year a posting about Bird, Bee & Bat Habitat on OWU’s Campus detailed the construction and placement of, among other things, a series of bird houses and feeders on OWU’s campus by Jayne Ackerman (OWU ’15, jjackerm@owu.edu), Blake Fajack (OWU OWU ’16, zbfajack@owu.edu) & Dick Tuttle (OWU ’73, ohtres@cs.com).

Dick has documented the bird’s use of the houses and feeders over the summer and provides the following report.

Bird Houses

All four nestboxes with 1-1/8 inch entrances produced a total of 23 native birds. The small entrance holes are designed to exclude non-native House Sparrows. Here is a detailed report on those boxes. Boxes #1 and #2 are in the back yard of the Tree House. Box #1 raised six House Wrens with the box being active with eggs and young from May 16 – June 19. Box #2 fledged five House Wrens and was active between July 6 and August 7.

Box #3 stands at the corner of the Student Observatory directly north of the Tree House and across a parking lot. House Wrens caused two chickadee nest attempts to fail before the wrens raised six young after laying their first egg on June 16 and fledging their last nestling on July 19.

Box #4 is located among evergreen trees between the Hamilton-Williams Campus Center and the Mowry Alumni Center. A first nest attempt by Carolina Chickadees failed after four eggs were laid but the second nest was successful between May 2 and June 6 to fledge six chickadees. I have not removed the old nest from this box.

A Wood Duck box located between Delaware Run (creek) and Henry Street remained inactive all season. Perhaps, lights from the stadium are a problem. Relocating the large nest box should be considered once Delaware City completes their plans for the stream where it runs through campus. Wood Duck boxes can also raise Eastern Screech Owls.

On April 13, 2015, students Jayne Ackerman and Blake Fajack and I installed four Carolina Wren boxes on two Student Living Units after three or so other students helped with construction and painting. I did not check these boxes until the end of the season and I only looked at them from the ground. The two boxes at the Inter-Faith House showed no signs of use while one of two boxes at the Citizens of the World House had nesting material sticking above the entrance slot. The box had been active and is located near the ceiling of the carport. My advice is to leave the nest material in the box so Carolina Wrens can roost in it this winter. If the nest contains any moss, it belongs to a Carolina Wren. A House Sparrow’s nest will not have moss, but will have grass with some trash items, etc.

Bird Feeders

I serviced the bird feeder station in front of the Chappelear Drama Center all summer while I only filled the thistle feeders at the station at the Science Center. I reactivated the Science Center feeders on Sunday, August 23 to greet returning students.

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The large hopper feeder at the Science Center is one of two that I built for OWU. The second one resides in my basement waiting for an idea for its location. I would like to install it where students live and near a main artery where it could be watched as students walk from their campus “homes” to and from their classes.

The ears of corn on the hopper feeder are for Blue Jays. Blue Jays are common at my home, but so far, none of the ears of corn on campus have been pecked at. Even the resident crows have avoided the corn. Maybe, once the second hopper is installed, I believe Blue Jays will become more visible on campus.

Conserve on,
Dick Tuttle

May Move Out 2015 – Results

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).

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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. The effort worked well given our goals of diverting stuff from the landfill (and to Goodwill) while clearing the dorms (in preparation for their summer use).

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).

Earlier this year, Ohio Wesleyan was awarded $10,000 from the Delaware, Knox, Marion, Morrow (DKMM) Joint Solid Waste District through the efforts of OWU’s Sustainability Task Force.

Overall, we rate the effort a B with areas of improvement to include promotion and logistics.

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Of the larger items, according to Goodwill, we collected 45 mini refrigerators, 12 bins of textiles, 37 misc. wares, 13 futons, 14 office chairs, 18 rugs, 27 storage containers and a dozen or so misc. chairs.

Our Goodwill partners were very happy with the effort, as were OWU’s Buildings and Grounds and Residential Life staff. In other words, we have a model that can, with some tweaks, work in the future.

With overall success come a series of problems and proposed improvements to consider.


Problem: Promotional efforts did not work as well as possible. This will be a big challenge for May Move Out 2016.

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Michelle Smith pulling a nice bike out of the dumpster. Potential donations were removed from the dumpsters by May Move Out volunteers. When asked, a signficant number of students professed ignorance of the May Move Out effort.

Solutions:

  • Earlier efforts to inform students and RAs, Fraternities and SLUs about the May Move Out effort. Promotion in the last month of classes came at a time when everyone was distracted by many other issues. Consider outreach efforts that will reach students already hit by a barrage of information.
  • Consider a fall and early spring promotional effort with a Goodwill truck with a “May Move Out 2016 (Early!)” banner parked in residential area. Possibly a similar effort mid-spring semester. Allow for early donations (as well as faculty and staff donations) but focus is to raise awareness for the actual May Move Out.
  • Banners for May Move Out on each donation pod. Potential for green balloons floating above pods.
  • Organizations and groups to help with outreach: Tree House, UC 160 Sustainability focused section, spring 2016. Students and courses in Environmental Studies.
  • Brainstorm promotional ideas:
    • Pod Puppies: puppies (from Companion Dogs company?) for end of semester stress relief and promotion of May Move Out
    • Green Week or Earth Day promotion
    • Have a contest (like Greek Week) based on how much you get donated (organize by floor, dorm, SLU, etc.)
    • Swag? Green Week efforts? Social Media?

Problem: Lots of recyclable material, particularly paper and cardboard, in the dumpsters. Part of the problem is the lack of a recycling program in the City of Delaware for businesses and multi-tenant buildings (such as the dorms on campus).

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A May Move Out promotional poster (above) in the dumpster!

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Lots and lots of paper and cardboard in the dumpsters.

Solutions:

  • work with the City of Delaware on this problem
  • investigate dual dumpster / recycling bins
  • improve campus recycling on the residential side of campus, in particular many of the cardboard boxes were from Aramark cleaning materials.

Problem: Limited donation dates and times meant that materials that could have been donated were thrown in dumpsters (for example, over night when the donation pods were locked).

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Donations left by a locked donation pod overnight (above).

Solutions:

  • Have pods placed on campus earlier.
  • With better promotion, students will know to leave donations by the pods if they are locked. Banners: “May Move Out Goodwill Donations. Leave it Here if You’re Not Sure”

Problem: Students have a tendency to toss everything (including potential donations) in the closest dumpster or garbage can.

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Potential donations in a dumpster that was closer to the dorm than the donation pod.

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Potential donations dropped off by the trash can closest to the dorm exit.

Solution:

  • Better promotion of May Move Out effort to encourage students to carry their donations the extra distance to the donation pods
  • Adjust donation pod locations so that donations can be made by all well used dumpsters (see image above). Attempt to get donation pod closer to dorms than the dumpsters.
    • Bashford pod: try to get dumpster and pod closer and facing same direction

Problem: too many nearly unused donation pods near SLUs and Frats.

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Things were very quiet at the donation pods near the SLUs (Small Living Units) and Frats.

Solution: This is actually a good thing, as it means we will probably need fewer donation pods for the Spring 2016 May Move Out (saving some money).

  • Work with Fraternities & SLUs to determine if donation pods are needed and where they should be. Possible that the fraternities and SLUs can organize an effort to get donations to the donation pods near the dorms, rather than have their own donation pod.
  • Revised May Move Out Promotion effort for Fraternities and SLUs

Additional ideas and issues:

  • gloves for volunteers at each pod
  • hours for each pod posted on pod
  • have real estate lock boxes for pod keys (rather than pick up and drop off)
  • encourage volunteers to circulate – don’t have to stay by assigned pod

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Bird, Bee & Bat Habitat on OWU’s Campus

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.

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House Wren/Carolina Chickadee house installed on April 16, 2014 during a student event sponsored by the Landscape Course Connection. It now contains a Carolina Chickadee nest.

Jayne Ackerman (OWU ’15, jjackerm@owu.edu), Blake Fajack (OWU OWU ’16, zbfajack@owu.edu) & Dick Tuttle (OWU ’73, ohtres@cs.com)

Delaware County, Ohio, home of Ohio Wesleyan, is one of the fastest growing areas in the state [1]. As the county grows, the amount of wildlife habitat is drastically decreased through fragmentation and other anthropogenic interferences. 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 [2][3][4].

Methods and Results

Our original goal for the project was to build and place bat boxes on campus since bats are in danger from habitat loss and important for pest control [19, 2]. We expanded the project to include bird houses and bee hotels because of their ecological usefulness for seed (birds [17]) and pollen (bees [20, 21]) dispersal [3]. OWU Alumnus Dick Tuttle joined our project, suggesting we build carolina wren nesting boxes and expand the project to include squirrel dens. Squirrels are important for tree growth and forest succession [4].

Dick Tuttle guided us on the construction of the bird houses and locations to hang them. We summarized our proposed work in a proposal and contacted OWU’s Buildings and Grounds (B&G) to get formal approval for the project [5]. Our proposal included general ecological support for the habitat enhancements, plans for the shelters (sources in references section at [6][7][8][9][17]), installation procedure [10][11][17], maintenance advice [12][13][17], and location suggestions.

The squirrel dens were dropped from the project because, given their size (and the need for three adjacent boxes) there was a lack of suitable locations for them [17]. The other dwellings remained on the list as we looked forward to the building process. Carlyle Ackerman (Jayne’s father) was the lead carpenter and designer of the bat boxes and a key collaborator in the project.

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Bat box construction, October 2014.

Two bat boxes were put together with the help of Mr. Ackerman [18]. This was one of the most time consuming aspects of the project.

When B&G accepted our proposal we contacted the moderators of the Small Living Units (SLUs) on campus, suggesting the SLUs would be a good location for the shelters. Several SLUs came forward: the Tree House, the Interfaith House, and the Citizens of the World House. It was decided that the bird houses would be placed at the Interfaith House and Citizens of the World House, and the bat boxes would be placed at the Tree House. Bee hotels would be hung up along the bike path outside of the Science Center and various other locations.

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Simple Bee Hotel Construction: reused plastic soda bottles with tops removed (above).

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Fill with cut pieces of dried bamboo (above) and place in bottles (below), packed (Fall 2014) for installation in Spring of 2015.

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An event was scheduled [14] to help build additional shelters and spread awareness in hopes of interesting campus groups to maintain and develop the shelters in the long term.

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Building Carolina Wren boxes, November 2014.

The event required us to collect necessary materials, tools, and also promotion for the event with social media postings. We also presented our work in class [22]. Emily Webb, Ellen Hughes, and Cindy Hastings attended the event. At the event we built 7 bee hotels, and Dick Tuttle assisted us in building 5 bird houses.

The final step of actually mounting the shelters was planned to happen in January 2015. Fall projects, like ours, suffer from the inevitable descent into winter. Both Jayne, Blake and Dick Tuttle committed to finishing the dwellings and installing them in the spring of 2015.

Spring 2015 Efforts and Results

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Bird feeders outside of the Schimmel Conrades Science Center (above) and Chapplear Drama Center(below). The feeders are currently maintained by OWU Alumni Dick Tuttle and we would like a student organization to take over maintenance of the feeders.

The feeder stands that hold four feeders are checked daily. Oil sunflower seeds are added to the milk carton feeders. The water bottle feeders are loaded with thistle seed for American Goldfinches and House Finches.

One bottle feeder at each stand has seed ports where American Goldfinches can feed while hanging up-side-down, a maneuver that House Finches cannot duplicate.

A small suet feeder hangs from one of the milk cartons and it is used by woodpeckers, nuthatches and chickadees.

A new hopper feeder was installed on April 27. It can go days before feed is depleted. Three ears of corn are attempts to attract Blue Jays, a species not yet seen at the feeder stations. Crows and grackles might also feed on the corn. Also, on each end of the hopper are compartments designed to hold suet and/or slices of bread, etc.

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Carolina Wren boxes painted (above) by residents of the SLUs where the boxes will be mounted, March 2015.

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April 25, 2015: Box 3 (above) at the student observatory has one egg in its moss nest.

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April 25, 2015: Box 4 between the Hamilton-Williams Center and the
Alumni Center. It contains three Carolina Chickadee eggs.

Future of the Project

General Maintenance of Dwellings

  • All of the wildlife dwellings need general monitoring to keep an eye out for wear and tear.
  • Occasional repairs or remounting may be needed depending on the amount of weathering.

Bee Hotel Maintenance

  • The simple design of the bee hotels may not allow them to last very long but they can be easily made and replaced.

Bat Box Maintenance

  • Bat boxes are self sufficient but sometimes pests like wasps will take over while bats are not using the boxes. These types of problems may require professional services.
  • If the bat boxes are not being used after 3 summers they will need relocated.
  • The SLUs that are hosting bat boxes will be expected to keep these maintenance requirements in mind.

Carolina Wren Nestbox Maintenance

  • Nestboxes will need cleaned once a year in the summer after birds have left the house.
  • The SLUs that are hosting nestboxes will be responsible for the cleaning.

Other wildlife home ideas

  • Larger bee hotels, lady bug homes, general bug hotels [15]
  • Bee hives
  • Squirrel dens [4, 8, 11]
  • Other bird houses: bluebird nest boxes or chimney swift tower [17]
  • Wildlife brush piles [16]
  • Bird of prey nesting platform

Recommendations

  • Getting the B&G proposal done as soon as possible is the number one thing to do when working on this type of project as they took a while to get back to us. Research is very important in case B&G has any questions or your project needs more scientific support.
  • Have a back-up plan. Original plans may not work out, so be sure to always have an alternative. Don’t be afraid if it is not as good as a place to put the shelter. Even the most poorly placed shelters will help B&G get used to the idea of having them around.
  • Try to start a native garden near the shelters, or mount the shelters in close proximity to a native plant garden. This helps attract the targeted wildlife to the shelter.

References

[1] Delaware County: http://www.co.delaware.oh.us

[2] Why Bats are Important: http://www.batconservation.org/bat-houses

[3] Why Bees are Important: http://www.esa.org/ecoservices/comm/body.comm.fact.poll.html

[4] Why Squirrels are Important: http://www.rossoscoiattolo.eu/en/role-ecosystem

[5] B&G Proposal: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6uLhpiaH654OGoxV1dtMjFsZ3M/view?usp=sharing

[6] Bee Hotel Plans: http://www.opalexplorenature.org/sites/default/files/7/file/How-to-make-a-bee-hotel.pdf

[7] Carolina Wren Nest Box Plans: http://www.wholehomenews.com/blog/Carolina-Wren-Nest-Box/239

[8] Squirrel Den Plans: http://www.helpingwildlife.org/images/squirrelnestbox.pdf

[9] Bat Box Plans: http://www.nwf.org/How-to-Help/Garden-for-Wildlife/Gardening-Tips/Build-a-Bat-House.aspx

[10] Bat Box Installation: http://www.batcon.org/pdfs/bathouses/InstallingYourBatHousebuilding.pdf

[11] Squirrel Den Installation: http://northernredsquirrels.org.uk/Red-Squirrel-Nesting-Box-Info.pdf

[12] Bat House Maintenance: http://bathouse.com/bat-house-maintenance

[13] Bird House Maintenance: http://www.birdhouses101.com/Care-Maintenance-Birdhouses.asp

[14] Facebook Event: http://www.birdhouses101.com/Care-Maintenance-Birdhouses.asp

[15] Bug Hotels: http://gardentherapy.ca/build-a-bug-hotel/

[16] Rabbit Brush Piles: http://dnr.wi.gov/files/PDF/pubs/wm/WM0221.pdf

[17] Dick Tuttle

[18] Carlyle Ackerman

[19] Sheffield, S.R., Shaw, J.H., Heidt, G.A., McClenaghan, L.R. 1992. Guidelines for the protection of bat roosts. Journal of Mammalogy 73: 707-710.

[20] MacIvor, J.S., Cabral, J.M., Packer, L. 2014. Pollen specialization by solitary bees in an urban landscape. Urban Ecosystems, 17: 139-147.

[21] Danforth, B. Bees. Current Biology, 17,5: R156-R161.

[22] Wildlife Home Presentation: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6uLhpiaH654ay1jYzRYSWRPT0k/view?usp=sharing

 

OWU Awarded $10k Grant to Fund May Move Out Effort

Wednesday February 11 2015: Ohio Wesleyan was awarded $10,000 from the Delaware, Knox, Marion, Morrow (DKMM) Joint Solid Waste District for our May Move Out effort for 2015 through the efforts of the Sustainability Task Force.

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Wednesday February 11 2015: Ohio Wesleyan was awarded $10,000 from the Delaware, Knox, Marion, Morrow (DKMM) Joint Solid Waste District for our May Move Out effort for 2015 through the efforts of the Sustainability Task Force. The project, originally developed and implemented by student Sarah D’Alexander in 2012, diverts reusable and recyclable materials from the trash during the student move out at the end of the spring semester. Grant funds will offset costs to OWU for pod rental (for short term storage of reusable and recyclable materials, and transport to our partners at Goodwill Industries) as well as promotional and educational efforts. The Sustainability Task Force (STF) guided the grant proposal, and students in John Krygier’s Geography 360 course (Environmental Geography) as well as Green House SLU members will be working on the project with Goodwill Industries, OWU Buildings and Grounds and OWU Residential Life.


Project Description:

Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) looks to significantly enhance and expand recycling/reuse efforts on our campus among its nearly 1,750 students who bring furnishings, clothing, small appliances and other items to outfit their residence hall living spaces each year. Much of the materials they bring and accumulate over an academic year do not go with them when they leave campus for the summer.

In fact, at the end of each spring semester over a few days, OWU students dump in excess of 43 tons of materials, much of which could be recycled or reused, into garbage dumpsters as they prepare to depart campus. Furniture, lamps, flat screen TVs, clothes, computers – usually of high quality and relatively new – end up in landfills, particularly as students from outside the state and country find they do not have the resources to move and travel with these items.

Ohio Wesleyan seeks to develop a partnership with Goodwill Industries to divert as many student discards as possible away from the landfill. We seek to build a sustainable model for “May Move Out” (as students move out of campus at the end of spring semester in May) that includes, in addition to significant waste diversion, an educational component whereby OWU students come to understand the significance of the waste they generate and learn to anticipate, plan, and reduce their waste impact. Further, the May Move Out program will engage students from several campus environmental organizations in working with Goodwill, OWU’s Buildings and Grounds, Residential and Campus cleaning staff as well as faculty in the Environmental Studies Program. Therefore, we believe our proposed program will, in addition to significant waste diversion, serve as an important pedagogical and service learning opportunity for our students. The desire to partner with a respected community organization with a shared goal of the reuse of materials, the capacity to handle a sizable addition of inventory for their stores and other enterprises and the desire to work with our students made Goodwill Industries our first choice for an off-campus partner.

The project outlined in this proposal builds on earlier efforts which involved recycling boxes in the residence halls and OWU students and staff sorting through the donated materials to then deliver appropriate materials to community organizations. The current proposed initiative addresses challenges and inadequacies with such previous end of year move out attempts and incorporates a partnership with a community organization that can provide the staffing and expertise needed to most successfully make use of the materials generated.

Meetings and discussions with Goodwill Industries and OWU Buildings & Grounds staff, students and faculty, resulted in the May Move Out project concept. The project entails:

  • Placement of 9 storage containers aka pods at selected locations on the Residential side of campus, near garbage dumpsters to allow separation of recyclable and non-recyclable materials at each of the 9 sites.
  • OWU students and Goodwill staff posted at the pods as “Diversion Consultants” to answer questions about what items would be considered waste vs. recyclable/reuse over the 4 day move-out period. We propose to leave some pods open and unmonitored, and will compare contents in those pods to contents in monitored pods to assess the ability of students to self-sort waste from recyclable/reusable materials.
  • Relocation of the pods after the 6 (or are we saying 4 – pods open on the weekend?) day student move out period to the Goodwill Industries facility in Delaware, Ohio where contents will be sorted and processed by Goodwill staff. OWU student “Diversion Consultants” may be involved at this stage of the process to assess the collected materials.An educational campaign is required for the proposed project to work. OWU will build on an existing campaign called “Pack it in, Pack it up, Pack it out” to include the option to recycle/reuse. Components of this campaign include:
  • Training of Residential Advisors on Residence Hall floors to understand the May Move Out and resources available to them and students on their floors.
  • Creation of basic recycle/reuse or waste guidelines, on postcards distributed to students with email access to “Consultants” as well as social media messaging. Similar information on posters will be placed near waste areas in residential buildings.
  • Events in the spring semester to raise awareness of the May Move Out campaign to include informational tables in the Campus Center, in Residential Food Service areas, and other locations.

Ohio Wesleyan’s project best fits the Non-Residential Recycling/Waste Reduction Project as defined in the Delaware Knox Marion Morrow Solid Waste Management District (DKMM SWD) 2015 Recycling & Market Development Project Application Handbook. OWU’s request is part of the institution’s larger plan to foster a culture of sustainability on campus as further outlined in item #5 below. Specifically, OWU seeks $10,000 to address priorities of DKMM SWD to foster and encourage collection and reuse of recyclable materials from the campus community.

With the campus drawing students from 46 states (with over 50% from Ohio) and 43 countries, this initiative provides a unique opportunity to reach a broad audience in our recycling educational efforts and hopes to inspire recycling practices in students that will continue after they graduate.

 

Spenser Hickey’s Report on OWU Sustainability

During the Fall semester of 2014 Journalism student Spencer Hickey reviewed the state of Sustainability on OWU’s campus, reviewing its history and current status, interviewing students, staff and faculty, and documenting his work as Special Report: OWU Sustainability.

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During the Fall semester of 2014 Journalism student Spencer Hickey reviewed the state of Sustainability on OWU’s campus, reviewing its history and current status, interviewing students, staff and faculty, and documenting his work as Special Report: OWU Sustainability.

OWU’s Sustainability Task Force (Facebook here) is actively addressing many of the issues in Hickey’s report, and a Spring 2015 practicum (Geography 499) will review and address the issues as part of the process of creating a campus-wide sustainability plan.

 

Ohio Wesleyan’s Community Garden

The Ohio Wesleyan Community Garden is a student initiated project, run by OWU students, faculty and Chartwells (campus dining services).

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The Ohio Wesleyan Community Garden is a student initiated project, run by OWU students, faculty and Chartwells (campus dining services).

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We are always in need for volunteers and “taste testers.” Please come visit us! We are located behind the old observatory.

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More information and many pictures can be found at:

This season’s plantings with additional fascinating details can be found at What’s In the Garden.

Contact: Susannah Waxman: sewaxman@owu.edu

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