Delaware, Ohio area Sustainability Events & Activities

Just about every month the Sustainable Delaware organization publishes a list of environmental, sustainable and related events and activities in and around Delaware, Ohio.

Just about every month the Sustainable Delaware organization publishes a list of environmental, sustainable and related events and activities in and around Delaware, Ohio. The newsletter is posted here, under the Sustainability in Delaware tab above.

Sustainable Delaware is always happy to have OWU student, staff or faculty involvement. Check their web pages for more information.

Environmental Studies at OWU Update Summer 2017

An update on OWU’s Environmental Studies Program as the summer of 2017 starts.

An update on OWU’s Environmental Studies Program as the summer of 2017 starts.

This is a followup to a 2015-2016 update and 2016-2017 update posted on the OWU Environment & Sustainability Blog.

First of all, the Environmental Studies Program is no longer a thin after our proposal for an expanded Environment and Sustainability Program was voted into existence at the May 2017 faculty meeting. The proposal was compiled by a group of faculty, Laurie Anderson, Ellen Arnold, Amy Downing, Chris Fink, and John Krygier, drawing from 5 years of efforts. Additional work on the Environmental Science major was done by Bart Martin.

Information about the program has been added to the OWU web pages:


Our proposed OWU Campus Sustainability Plan created by students, staff and faculty over the last few years is just about in its final form and should be heading to the administration this summer.

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Student Emily Howald has spent the year gathering feedback and making adjustments to the plan. The Sustainability Task Force (STF), initiated in 2008, has overseen the development of the plan. Contact Nathan Amador and let him know if you want to be added to the STF mailing list. The STF is open to all.


Student Emily Howald and faculty member John Krygier wrote a paper which is to be published as a chapter in the book Sustainable Communities Design Handbook edited by OWU Alumni Woody Clark (OWU 1967). The book should be published by Elsevier in 2018. The chapter is an overview of OWU’s approach to sustainability, called “Scrappy Sustainability at Ohio Wesleyan University.” Clark was recently presented with an OWU Alumni Distinguish Achievement Award.


The 2017 May Move Out was another success. Students donated tons of items to Goodwill as they moved off campus last month. The event, first held in 2012, is at this point relatively easy to manage and does not cost the University any money (the cost of additional storage pods for donations is offset by the need for fewer trash dumpsters).


Our reusable carryout food container program is also relatively stable after some ups and downs over the last year. We have added drop off locations for the containers, increased their size, and decreased the size of the paper, throw-away containers (thus an incentive to use the reusable containers). Students Izzy Sommerdorf and Sarah Hanes have developed a proposal for making the program even easier for students, and our campus food service, Chartwells, is evaluating their proposal.


Sustainable food on campus has moved forward on several fronts. Our campus food service has recently worked out an agreement to purchase local produce from the Seminary Hill Farm, just south of campus, beginning this fall. This outcome is based on the efforts of student Ellen Sizer.

Student Emily Howald is working on a proposal for quarter-credit OWU Activity courses focused on gardening. Students would work with a skilled gardener in a course held during the first half of the fall semester, and second half of the spring semester, to maintain our campus community garden.

Students Maddie Coalmer and Larynn Cutshaw generated a proposal to plant perennial crops (asparagus, mint, raspberries), which require minimal maintenance, on a few out-of-the-way locations on campus.


Another successful Green Week was held at the end of the 2017 spring semester:


We have expanded the number of hydration stations on campus with a half-dozen new stations being installed this summer. Most of the new hydration stations are in or around athletic facilities on campus. Athletes have tended to be one of the more significant users of bottled water. Student Dominic Orsini wrote a grant and received funding for promotional water bottles. These will be used to promote the new hydration stations to athletes when they move on campus late this summer.


Nathan Amador will take a group of 12 students to Costa Rica as part of a Travel Learning course. This will be the second time the class will travel to Costa Rica. The students will learn environmental data collection and analysis methods, then implement those methods while in Costa Rica over the semester break (January 2018). Amador and the students are working with Amy Work (OWU ’04) and her Geoporter organization. More info on Amy’s efforts are here.


Again, thanks for all the efforts on what has been a great cross-disciplinary collaboration between faculty, students, staff and alumni over the past five years.

May Move Out 2017 is Happening!

As you move off campus please drop off any usable stuff in the May Move Out pods near all of the dorms. All donations go to our local Goodwill. Recycling is also available at the pods.

May Move Out 2017

As you move off campus please drop off any usable stuff in the May Move Out pods near all of the dorms. All donations go to our local Goodwill. Recycling is also available at the pods.

Monday, May 8: noon – 8pm
Tuesday, May 9: noon – 8pm
Wednesday, May 10: 9am – 1pm
Sunday, May 14: 9am-1pm

 

 

OWU’s Green Week 2017

OWU’s Green Week 2017 is a sheer delight of greenish fun all week long.

WHAT’S YOUR ECOSPHERE?

COME LEARN ABOUT HOW ENVIRONMENTALISM RELATES TO YOU IN EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR LIFE!

There will be tons of fun giveaways, lots of activities, and a tabling event every day!

DAY 1: ENVIRONMENTALISM IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE
(Monday April 17th)

Reduce Reuse Recycle Tabling: 11-1, HWCC
https://goo.gl/n2VZgT

DIY Green Cleaning Product Seminar: 5-7pm, Milligan Hub
https://goo.gl/LDF71p

DAY 2: GREEN@OWU
(Tuesday April 18th)

Petting Zoo on the Jay: 11-1, The JayWalk
https://goo.gl/5SakqB

OWU Beekeeper Tabling: 11-1, HWCC
https://goo.gl/0noS9q

Green@OWU Tabling: 11-1, HWCC

Green@OWU at Science Research Symposium
4-7:30 pm, Science Center Atrium

DAY 3: GREEN IN OHIO
(Wedneday April 19th)

Don’t Frack Ohio Tabling: 11-1, HWCC

Buckeye Environmental Network Talk: 4:30-6pm, House of Peace and Justice (94B rowland ave)
https://goo.gl/qMxTDI

DAY 4: US ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY
(Thursday April 20th)

Environmental Policy Tabling: 11-1, HWCC
https://goo.gl/vdquyN

“Trees in Trouble” Screening and Directors Talk: 7pm, Science Center 163
https://goo.gl/s9aArJ

DAY 5: ENVIRONMENTALISM AROUND THE WORLD
(Friday April 21st)

Environmentalism in Other Countries Tabling: 11-1, HWCC

Scrappy Sustainability Talk: 12-1pm, SCSC 161
https://goo.gl/7SeQt9

Campus Wide Trash Cleanup: 4pm, the Fountain/Jaywalk
https://goo.gl/qqeyWh

DAY 6: EARTH DAY!
(Saturday April 22nd)

OWU Marches on Science: 10-2 in DC and Columbus!
https://goo.gl/forms/VDFFHXBazyHepVvy1 to sign up!

EARTH DAY CONCERT! 6-9, the Amphitheatre by HamWil
https://goo.gl/0W0WTf

OWU’s Mini May Mooove Out, March 22, 2017!

Bring your unwanted stuff and donate to Goodwill during our Mini May Mooove Out event on campus Wednesday, March 22 2017.

Bring your unwanted stuff and donate to Goodwill during our Mini May Mooove Out event on campus Wednesday, March 22 2017. Learn about our big May Move Out effort during the move-out week on campus, May 8 to May 14, 2017.

May Mooooove Out 2017

Monday, May 8: noon – 8pm
Tuesday, May 9: noon – 8pm
Wednesday, May 10: 9am – 1pm
Sunday, May 14: 9am-1pm

More info: https://maymoveout.owu.edu

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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.

Free Farm to Table Meal @ OWU, Thursday February 16, 2017

Experience a free, farm to table meal using many fresh, locally grown ingredients, Thursday February 16, 2017.

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Experience a free, farm to table meal using many fresh, locally grown ingredients.

Join us for a free Cooking Outreach class, hosted by the Student Health Center at Stuy and the OWU Cooking Matters program. Featured talks by folks from our local Seminary Hill Farm.

Time: 7-9 pm
When: Thurs. February 16, 2017
Where: Stuy Kitchen/Milligan Hub

**FREE**
This class is limited to the first 25 responders.
Please RSVP to Olivia Minervino (owminerv@owu.edu) by Feb. 9!

Funding courtesy of an anonymous donor through the Ohio College Health
Association (OCHA)

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.

Environmental Studies at OWU Update Fall 2016

An update on OWU’s Environmental Studies Program as the fall 2016 semester starts.

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OWU Faculty member Nathan Amador (left) and Amy Work (OWU 2004, right) and various assistants hone in on a drone during an OWU Travel Learning trip to Costa Rica.

An update on OWU’s Environmental Studies Program as the fall 2016 semester starts.

2015-2016 academic year developments are listed on an earlier post on the OWU Environment & Sustainability Blog.

A few additional developments are worth noting:

Of obvious importance is the proposal for transforming our nearly 40 year old Environmental Studies program into Environmental Sustainability, part of the campus-wide effort to expand enrollment. The proposal was compiled by a group of faculty, Ellen Arnold, Amy Downing, Chris Fink, and John Krygier, drawing from 5 years of efforts by ES faculty, staff and students, including content drawn from:

  • 2012 Environmental Studies Program Self Study
  • 2013 Environmental Studies External Program Review
  • 2014 Proposal – OWU Center for the Environment
  • 2014 Proposal – Sustainability Region
  • 2015 Program Case for Support

The Environmental Sustainability Major, if approved by faculty (the vote should happen at the Monday September 19, 4:30 pm faculty meeting), will have three tracks: Food, Climate, and Sustainability. All will involve a significant amount of applied work, theory-into-practice, and internships.

Collaborative efforts with Chris Fink (HHK) over the past few years fleshed out the Food Track in the proposed new major. Much of this is embodied in the Food Minor, passed at the last faculty meeting in the spring. We are formalizing connections with Stratford Farm and the Seminary Hill Farm south of campus, where we placed a dozen or so interns last academic year.

The addition of Nathan Amador to the faculty was central in solidifying our Climate Track for the proposed major. Nathan and Craig Jackson have led the effort on the Climate front.

Finally, the Sustainability Track in the major is the result of the work of faculty, staff and students over the past decade. In particular, Sean Kinghorn (sustainability coordinator, 2012-14), B&G’s Peter Schantz, Chartwell’s Gene Castelli, staff in Res Life and other folks who helped guide well over 100 student sustainability projects.

Laurie Anderson’s efforts have been central to all three tracks in the proposed program, and sustainability on campus in general.

Recent past Sagan National Colloquiums have also infused our proposal with ideas: Sustainability (2008-09), Food (2012-13), Climate (2013-14), Water (2014-15) and Waste (2015-16). All brought an array of scholars to campus, driving home the point that all these environmental and sustainability issues are of significant importance.

Nathan Amador and student Todd D’Andrea spent several weeks in southern Costa Rica this summer, collaborating with Amy Work (OWU ’04) on what we hope will be a long-term component of the Environmental Sustainability program, looking at the local impacts of global environmental change. Nathan organized and led a travel learning course (Fall 2015) that had students working with Amy over the semester break (2015-16) and we plan to return with another travel learning course in the fall of 2017. More info on Amy’s efforts are here.

Thanks to all who have contributed to our efforts over the years: your work is now part of the Environmental Sustainability proposal.


The Sustainability Task Force (STF) initiated in 2008 has been instrumental in moving sustainability forward on campus. Contact Nathan Amador for the date and time of the next STF meeting (and let him know if you want to be added to the STF mailing list). It is open to all.

Students in my Spring 2015 and Spring 2016 Sustainability Practicum not only managed a bevy of ongoing sustainability projects on campus, they also developed a 40 page overview (Spring 2015) of past and present sustainability that was reformed (Spring 2016) into a proposed OWU Sustainability Plan in collaboration with the STF. We also consulted with OWU alumni who work in the field of sustainability.


Finally, last academic year, Jim Peoples, Nick Crane (now at the University of Wyoming) and I managed the Luce Foundation funded initiative on Sustainability in Asia and the West, with a focus on waste and discard studies. This effort, a collaboration between OWU’s East Asian Studies and Environmental Studies Programs, moves forward with an implementation grant we are currently writing. Obviously this effort will sync nicely with the proposed Environmental Sustainability Program. It also corresponds nicely with the development of a Global Studies Center on campus, headed up by Jeremy Baskes, and part of the GLCA’s Global Crossroads program.


Again, thanks for all the efforts on what has been a great cross-disciplinary collaboration between faculty, students, staff and alumni over the past five years.

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.