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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Green Business Survey and Resource Guide

The goal of the Delaware Green Business Project is to create a Green Business Challenge for the City of Delaware in order to help local businesses to become more environmentally sustainable. An online survey and resource guide (downloadable) were created for the project.

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Photograph of historic downtown Delaware, Ohio. Photography by John Hollinger (Source)


Delaware, Ohio Green Business Survey & Resource Guide                      

Spring 2012

Sophie Kiendl, Amy Carr, John Krygier, Sean Kinghorn

Summary

The goal of the Delaware Green Business Project is to create a Green Business Challenge for the City of Delaware in order to help local businesses to become more environmentally sustainable. The Challenge will be initiated with an online survey created for the project. The survey will allow us to monitor various environmental issues related to community businesses over time, and can be connected to the Sustainability Region database. Our main objective is to decrease energy usage, water consumption and waste and improve the performance of commercial and institutional buildings and their operations. We will work with Delaware business to increase the environmentally business practices will decrease their expenditures. The Green Business Project is a business friendly project and will in no way harm participating businesses. We encourage the entire business community to join us and help create a greener community.

Methods and Results

At the beginning of the semester Dr. Krygier informed us that we would be doing class projects involving the environmental sustainability of Ohio Wesleyan University and Delaware County. We had to come up with ideas that both would add depth to the project and interested us. Amy came up with the idea of a Green Business Challenge for Delaware Businesses. The idea came from a previous project she worked on in Charleston, SC, which had the same goal of increasing greener business practices in their community. Amy and I worked with Sean Kinghorn to come up with ideas for what we would like to have involved in our green business challenge to make it effective and applicable to the Delaware County business community. We met weekly to ensure that we could provide our participants with the best possible challenge and resources to complete the challenge. We developed an online survey with 37 questions for the participants to complete with 65 points possible.

Participants will receive this message upon receiving the online survey challenge.

We have sent you the Delaware Green Business Challenge survey. The survey is meant to give you a baseline of how green your business is and an idea of what areas you can improve in. It includes 50 actions that are necessary for a greener business. Once you have completed the survey your answers are collected and your score is generated. There are a 100 points total 4 tiers of achievements. Tier 1 being the highest level of achievement. See the chart below for a breakdown of points needed for each tier.

Along with the challenge businesses will receive a Resource Guide to help green their business. Once each business has finished the challenge we will compute their scores and personally work with them on ways to better their businesses. As well businesses will receive a plaque or certificate showing the public that they have participated (in no circumstances will the businesses scores be shared with the general public, we are here to help not harm!).

See the two documents generated for this project:

  • Green Business Challenge Survey (PDF)
  • Green Business Resource Guide (PDF) (Word)

The survey is in Google Docs format and can be modified and sent to businesses if students are interested in continuing the project. The resource guide, with some updates, can also be used for future projects. Contact John Krygier for more information.

Recommendations (2012)

  1. Consult the City of Delaware Chamber of Commerce. Allow for critique and adjustment of the survey to meet the needs of Delaware businesses. With the approval and backing of the Chamber of Commerce it is possible that more businesses will want to participate in the survey and Green Challenge program. Inquire as to methods of promoting the survey and program.
  1. Consult additional local business organizations, such as Downtown Delaware. Again, allow critique and adjustment of the survey and the Green Challenge program. Inquire as to methods of promoting the survey and program.
  1. Develop educational programs on sustainable practices that are open to the public along with programs only for those that are participating in the program. The educational programs should be hosted by Ohio Wesleyan, which opens the possibility to involve students in the programs. The involvement of both the City of Delaware and Ohio Wesleyan in the program will lead to a stronger relationship between the City and the University. Reach out to the Economics Department to see if students and faculty may be interested in moving the survey, Green Challenge, and additional sustainable practices programs forward.
  1. Directly link the results of the survey to the Sustainability Region database. Institute a program to periodically resurvey businesses to track change over time and assess the impact of the programs promoting sustainable practices.

 

New Course: Sustainability Plan Practicum: Spring 2014

Dr. John Krygier, Director of Environmental Studies and Professor of Geography, is offering a practicum (Geography 499) focused on researching and creating a draft Sustainability Plan for Ohio Wesleyan University during the Spring semester, 2015.

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Dr. John Krygier, Director of Environmental Studies and Professor of Geography, is offering a practicum (Geography 499) focused on researching and creating a draft Sustainability Plan for Ohio Wesleyan University during the Spring semester, 2015.

Students will be working with faculty and staff on the Sustainability Task Force (STF) as well as using professional and academic sources to create the draft plan.

Rock Jones has expressed interest in having OWU sign the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. This Commitment involves many of the issues that would be included in a sustainability plan for campus.

The course is scheduled for Tu/Th 10-11:50 but will leave open the option to arrange a different meeting time, depending on who takes the course.

For more information, contact Dr. Krygier.

11th Annual Olentangy Watershed Forum 2014: Protecting and Restoring our Water Resources

For the past 11 years, the Olentangy Watershed Forum has connected citizens and experts who wish to explore issues that impact the quality of life in the watershed.

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Removal of low-head dams on Olentangy River, near Delaware (2011). Source.

11th Annual Olentangy Watershed Forum 2014: Protecting and Restoring our Water Resources

Organized and Sponsored by

olentangywatershedforum

For the past 11 years, the Olentangy Watershed Forum has connected citizens and experts who wish to explore issues that impact the quality of life in the watershed.This year’s agenda is filled with professionals who will speak on topics pertaining to the protection and restoration on the Olentangy Watershed. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Tom Curtin: Preservation Parks’ Initiatives in the Olentangy Watershed
  • John O’Meara: MetroParks’ Olentangy Trail Expansion
  • Ben O’Dell: USACE’s Delaware Dam Management Issues

Plus reports from the Olentangy Watershed Coordinators, Del-Co Water and Preservation Parks.
After a networking lunch, you can go on a canoe tour of the scenic Olentangy River or take a tour of the Olentangy Caverns.

This forum is for local residents, water resource professionals, township officials, landowners, and farmers who want to learn about water quality issues in the Olentangy Watershed and what effective planning strategies can be employed.

When: Thursday, October 16th, 2014 from 9:00 am – 3:10 pm. Doors open at 8:00 am. Where: Del-Co Water, 6658 Olentangy River Road, Delaware, Ohio 43015

Come and get an update on all the initiatives in the Olentangy River. Why is this important? The river serves as our drinking water supply, provides recreational relief from the urban environment and is an essential link for wildlife survival. The more you know, the more you can help protect the Olentangy.

Forum Specifics: There is no cost to attend the Forum thanks to our event sponsors. However, registration is required and seating is limited. Walk-ins will be accommodated if space is available. Lunch will be provided.

Registration: Pre-registration requested by Monday, October 13th. For more information or to register, please contact Erin Thomas at ethomas@delcowater.com or 740-548-7746 ext 2221

Press Contact: Laura Fay
Secretary, Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed
614-580-2656

First Delaware Watershed Festival

The first annual Watershed Festival was held at Mingo Park (in Delaware, Ohio) on June 21, 2014.

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The first annual Watershed Festival was held at Mingo Park (in Delaware, Ohio) on June 21, 2014.

Festival “booths will be on sediment control, rain garden demonstrations, we’ll have volunteers taking groups down to the Olentangy River, discussing water quality aspects of the Olentangy and the benefits it provides the City of Delaware.”

For more details click on the link below :

http://delgazette.com/news/home_top-news/3330873/City-to-hold-first-Watershed-Festival

 

Preservation Parks in Delaware County, Ohio

Preservation Parks in Delaware County, Ohio, consists of ten ecologically significant parks, all open to the public.

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Preservation Parks in Delaware County, Ohio, consists of ten ecologically significant parks, all open to the public.

“Our goals are to preserve green space in our rapidly developing county and to provide environmental education to its residents. Because parks add value to our quality of life, Preservation Parks is committed to continuing to acquire and develop additional areas which can enrich the lives and provide clean, safe places for recreation and relaxation for all members of our community.” (source)

More information at: http://www.preservationparks.com/

Wetlands in the Delaware, Ohio Area

Delaware County, Ohio has many ecologically important wetlands, some with ongoing OWU research projects.

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Delaware County, Ohio has many ecologically important wetlands, some with ongoing OWU research projects. Local wetlands include those behind Glenwood Commons, the Kensington Park Rain Gardens, the Bio-Swale at Stratford Woods and the Wetland Retention Pond at Delaware Community Center YMCA.

More information on Delaware area wetlands here.