13th Annual Olentangy River Watershed Forum

Join FLOW and our watershed partners on October 28th for the 13th Annual Olentangy Watershed Forum.  The forum is a full day of news, networking and getting out on the river to learn about the many efforts underway in both the upper and lower watersheds of the Olentangy River.   This year the forum will feature speakers from Del-Co Water Company, the City of Delaware, Ohio EPA and the Delaware Regional Planning Commission,  along with updates from FLOW , the Olentangy Watershed Alliance and Preservation Parks of Delaware County, and a canoe trip in the afternoon.

Date and time: October 28th,  2016  9 am – 4 pm.

Location: Stratford Ecological Center  3083 Liberty Road, Delaware, Ohio 43015

Agenda:

8:00 – 9:00 – Doors open for registration, coffee, and networking session

9:00 – 9:10 – Welcome and Introduction -David Hoy, Stratford Ecological Center

9:10– 9:40 – Jeff Kauffman, Del-Co Water Company, “Monitoring the Watershed”

9:40–10:10 – Brad Stanton, City of Delaware,“Delaware Run Restoration Project”

10:10 – 10:25 – Break

10:25 – 10:55 – Harry Kallipollitis, Ohio EPA, “Stormwater and Clean Water Act Mitigation Projects in the Olentangy”

10:55 – 11:40 – State of the Watershed Updates:

Update from Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW) by Science Committee Member Laura Fay. 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 the Olentangy Watershed Alliance (OWA). The Olentangy Watershed Alliance (OWA) was formed in April 1999, with a mission to work in partnership with farming, urban and other local communities to understand, appreciate and responsibly use the Olentangy River, its tributaries and watershed. OWA’s vision is to enhance and preserve the water quality, natural integrity, scenic beauty, and recreational value of the Olentangy River watershed in partnership with diverse community interests.

Update from Preservation Parks by Mary VanHaaften. 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.

11:40 – 12:10- Scott Sanders, Delaware Regional Planning Commission, “Delaware County Development Outlook” aka Projections for 2050.

12:10 – 1:00 – Lunch and Networking

1:00 – 4:00 Field Trip- Canoeing on the Scenic Olentangy River with Heather Doherty of ODNR Scenic Rivers Program.

Please indicate if you want to canoe when you register. The field trip will be weather dependent.

The Olentangy Watershed Forum is presented by the Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW), the Olentangy Watershed Alliance (OWA), Delco Water Company, the City of Delaware and Preservation Parks of Delaware County.

The Enemy Among Us

This summer, Ohio residents will be living among the types of mosquitos that spread Zika and West Nile viruses.
Zika has been linked to serious birth defects. It is not known whether Zika will arrive in Ohio this year, although the mosquitos that spread it are expected to be here.
West Nile often has mild or no symptoms, but it can cause neurological damage in some individuals.
You can conduct your war against these unwelcome attackers by denying them the standing water they need to reproduce. This is by far the most effective way to reduce the number of mosquitos.

Rain Barrels

If you live in the City of Columbus and got a rain barrel through Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District’s GreenSpot program, you can get free rain barrel water treatment through Columbus. You should be contacted within a few weeks and offered 180-day treatment for your rain barrel. If you are not contacted, you can check your eligibility by calling 614-645-6153 or emailing rainbarrel@columbus.gov.
You can also buy Mosquito Dunks, Mosquito Bits, or similar products that will interrupt the mosquito life cycle. These are harmless naturally-occurring bacteria.
In the absence of these controls, use up the water in your rain barrel at least once a week. It takes 7-10 days for the eggs to become mature mosquitos.

Backyard Ponds
You have a couple of options for your pond:
• Koi are too large to eat mosquito larvae, but goldfish and guppies will do the job and will get along well with your other fish.
• Mosquitos require shallow or still water, so consider adding a waterfall or fountain.
• Use Mosquito Dunks, Mosquito Bits, or similar products.
Other Containers
Empty the following at least once a week:
• birdbaths
• vases
• pet water bowls
• flowerpot saucers
• discarded tires
• buckets
• pool covers
• birdbaths
• trash cans

Ackerman Ponds Transformation

ackermanpondThe Ackerman Ponds show how quickly a goose-infested area can be turned into a destination for butterflies and honey bees. Constructed in 2010-2011, the two grass and stone ponds were part of the storm water facilities for the Ohio State University’s Woody Hayes Athletic Complex. The stone slows the storm water flow, prevents erosion, and encourages particles to settle out of the water.

Though designed to be dry between rains, the Ackerman Ponds were often full of water due to a persistent leak from an adjacent water main. This submerged and distressed the lawn grasses and became a nesting area for Canada geese. In addition to being a nuisance, Canada geese droppings degraded the retained water. Once the water main was fixed, the water receded and the geese left, but the distressed vegetation had to be addressed.

In 2014, volunteers from Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW) and WOSU planted native forbs, grasses, two hackberry trees and one burr oak tree. Ohio State Facilities Operations and Development – Landscape Services planted an additional dozen native trees from the School of Forestry’s greenhouse. These trees included oak, locust, cherry and hickory, among others.

After one year, the native foliage has grown at an impressive rate. In addition, the native perennial flowers have already begun to attract butterflies and honey bees. These ponds continue to provide stormwater retention, and the plants help filter the stormwater and provide habitat for pollinators and other wildlife.

Thanks to Lush Cosmetics for funding for this exciting project.

What is a Watershed? How can we Monitor its Health?

Public Meeting
Location: Veritas Community Church
345 E. 2nd Ave., Columbus
When: 7:15-8:30pm, April 4, 2016
RSVP: info@olentangywatershed.org

During this meeting, you will learn what a watershed is, how they function and how we, the people, can affect the health of a watershed. We will also introduce FLOW’s Water Steward Program, which we are carrying out with the support of partners at Ohio Water Resources Center and the Sierra Club. We will learn about the different components of the program including the water chemistry testing and macroinvertebtrate sampling that our volunteers will perform.

If you are participating in the Water Steward Training Program, this course is optional. If you are not interested in macroinvertebrate sampling, this meeting and training is not required. This meeting will provide insight into the kind of time commitment that will be required of you and your team (1-2 hours, 3 times per year), an overview of the sampling and identification process, and how all the data will be compiled and used at FLOW.

If you wish to do Macroinvertebrate Sampling and are unable to attend this meeting, please let us know and we will send you information regarding the in-field training.

FLOW’s Day at Lucky’s Market Thursday (3/31)

FLOW Market Day at Lucky's Market (3/31/2016)

FLOW Day at Lucky’s is this Thursday (March 31)!

Make your shopping list and don’t forget to add the trees!

Lucky’s Market has chosen to support the health of the Olentangy Watershed and all its inhabitants and so can you!
All that you have to do to help is go grocery shopping this week at Lucky’s on Thursday, March 31.
Lucky’s will donate 10% to FLOW and we will use those funds to buy trees to plant right here in your watershed. This has got to be the easiest way for you and your family to plant a tree this spring season!
See you at Lucky’s on Thursday!

March and April Events

tree-planting-1

FLOW has seven great events planned in March and April.

If you want to lend a hand to programs that are ready for you to participate, here’s a great list to choose from!

March 26th: Slyh Run Restoration at Cranbrook Elementary
Details: 10am -12:30 pm, 908 Bricker Blvd, Columbus OH, 43221
We will be removing invasive bush honeysuckle from the south side of Slyh Run on the school grounds. You can either help cut the honeysuckle or drag it to the brush pile. We need lots of help in getting almost 940 feet of stream corridor cleared of invasives. We will supply the tools and the gloves.
(No additional volunteers needed.)

March 31st: FLOW day at Lucky’s Market
Details: All Day! Lucky’s Market, 2770 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43202
When you shop at Lucky’s Market on March 31st, FLOW will receive 10% of the sales. FLOW will use these funds to plant trees, clean up rivers, plant gardens, and continue to educate our community about our environment. Our goal is to raise $7,000 so please start your shopping list!

April 2nd: Slyh Run Restoration at Cranbrook Elementary
Details: 10am -12:30 pm, 908 Bricker Blvd, Columbus OH, 43221
We will be removing invasive bush honeysuckle from the south side of Slyh Run on the school grounds. You can either help cut the honeysuckle or drag it to the brush pile. We need lots of help in getting almost 940 feet of stream corridor cleared of invasives. We will supply the tools and the gloves.

April 10th: Drake Union at The Ohio State University
Details: This is an OSU student event co-sponsored with the Undergraduate Student Government. The students will be conducting a river clean-up and planting trees on-site.
Community volunteers are not required for this event

April 16th: Earth Day Tree Planting (Fawcett Center for Tomorrow at OSU)
Details: Hosted by FLOW and the Natural Resources Scholars
Location: 9am – 12 pm, 2400 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, OH 43210
Please bring a shovel (or two) if you have them, otherwise, we will provide them. We will be planting 2,000 seedlings along the floodplain of the Olentangy River.
More info and sign ups here:

April 22: Earth Day Glen Echo Ravine Cleanup
Co-sponsored by Earthday Columbus and Lucky’s Market. Be prepared to pick up litter big and small! Dress comfy and in clothes you don’t mind getting dirty as you clean the ravine behind Lucky’s!
Details: 11-2:00 pm Glen Echo Ravine behind Lucky’s Market, 2770 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43202
More info and sign ups here:

April 23rd: Tree Planting with the Battelle River and Stream Team
Details: 9am – 12 pm, River Bluff Park at 8350 Olentangy River Rd, Columbus, OH
Please bring a shovel if you have it. We will provide the gloves and everything else you need. No worries if you don’t have a shovel. We will be planting 2,500 seedling trees in the newest parcel of Highbanks Park (west of the Olentangy River).
More info and sign ups here:

Please email FLOW if you plan to attend or if you need any additional information: info@olentangywatershed.org

FLOW’s Water Steward Program

FLOW’s Water Steward Program kicks off March 22.

FLOW is working with the Ohio Water Resources Center and the Sierra Club to create an active group of Water Stewards in the Lower Olentangy Watershed. These stewards are dedicated to a sustained hands-on effort to quantify the health of our stream waters through the monitoring and reporting of chemical and macroinvertebrate indicators in several of its tributaries.

In order to be a part of the FLOW Water Steward Program you must be trained in WARN (Water Alert Report Training) and either the Water Sentinel (water chemistry) or the macroinvertebrate sampling methods (or in all three areas). After completing the required trainings, the Water Stewards will be grouped with one or more persons and assigned a sampling site close to their chosen geographical area (when possible) which the team will then sample in the spring, summer and fall. If this kind of stewardship is something that you would be interested in participating in please join us for the following training sessions.

Warn Training
Where: OSU Wetlands
The Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park
352 Dodridge St., Columbus
When: March 22, 7:00
RSVP: info@olentangywatershed.org

Details: WARN Training is required to be a water steward. However, it is likely that we will hold another training session sometime in late spring. Please let us know if you are interested but unable to attend.

Water Sentinel Training
Where: OSU Wetlands
The Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park
352 Dodridge St., Columbus
When: March 29, 7:00
RSVP: info@olentangywatershed.org

Details: Water Sentinel Training will enable you to test the chemical components in the water. This training is optional and if you choose not to do this training, we will try to pair you with someone that has had this training. You may try to take this training at a later date. Data collected from this training will be used by both FLOW and the Sierra Club to track stream health. Supplies will be provided for each team.

Program Overview Meeting and Introduction to Macroinvertebrate Sampling Methods
Where: Veritas Community Church
345 E. 2nd Ave., Columbus
When: 7:15-8:30pm, April 4, 2016
RSVP: info@olentangywatershed.org

Details:
This course is optional. If you are not interested in macroinvertebrate sampling, this meeting and training is not required.

This meeting will provide insight into the kind of time commitment that will be required of you and your team (1-2 hours, 3 times per year), an overview of the sampling and identification process, and how all the data will be compiled and used at FLOW. If you wish to do Macroinvertebrate Sampling and are unable to attend this meeting, please let us know and we will send you information regarding the in-field training.

Hands on Field Training for Macroinvertebrate Sampling, Equipment Dispersal and Site Assignments
Where: Adena Brook, Whetstone Park, Clintonville
When: 1:30-3:30pm, May 1, 2016

During this event, FLOW Water Steward Trainers will walk you through an actual macro invertebrate sampling process and work with you to identify the various critters that you might find at your own site. You must have attended WARN training prior to attending this event unless other arrangements have been made with FLOW for future training events.

First Sampling with a FLOW Water Steward Trainer
You will each have an assigned site that you will visit with your team three times every year. This first visit you will be accompanied by a FLOW Water Steward Trainer. The trainer will show you your access points and walk you through the process so that you have the confidence you will need to go out on your own in the summer and fall.
Locations and dates to be determined based on team and trainer location and availability.
As a Water Steward
Once you have done your chemical and macroinvertebrate sampling, you will provide your results to FLOW so that they can be compiled into both an overall annual report as well as be used to track your specific location over time. You and your team will visit your site two more times this year. We will track the results of the sampling and share these with you on our website and hold a year end meeting so you and your fellow stewards get a chance to meet and share stories of success and fun in the streams!
If you are interested in becoming a FLOW Water Steward and we look forward to seeing you and guiding you through this opportunity to work first-hand to improve the quality of our streams.

The Olentangy River through the Lens of George Anderson

Long time FLOW member and professional photographer George Anderson has been canoeing and photographing the Olentangy River for some time now. Come join FLOW as he shares his unique view of our river and some of the amazing wildlife that call it home. Be ready to enjoy some wonderful “eye candy” and surprising perspectives of a river most people never see.

We will have a RAFFLE for FLOW t-shirts, a COMPOSTER, and a few other prizes, and we would love for you to participate!

Refreshments and snacks will be provided.

When and Where:
Monday, March 7
7:15 PM – 8:30 PM
Veritas Community Church
345 E 2nd Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43201

Experiencing the Olentangy by Boat

Postcard of the Lake House at Olentangy Park, 1911.

Postcard of the Lake House at Olentangy Park, 1911.

Do you drive over the bridges of the Olentangy day after day and admire its beauty? Do you see kayakers and canoers? Have you ever wondered, “how can I do that?”

Lisa Daris, an urban environmental optimist and owner of Olentangy Paddle will be the guest lecturer at the next FLOW public meeting, Monday, February 1 at 7 pm (address below). Lisa will talk about experiencing the river in a boat! She will give pointers about where to put-in, where to take-out, and share insights about the wildlife and changing health of the Olentangy.

We will have a RAFFLE for FLOW shirts and a few other prizes, and we would love for you to participate!

Refreshments and snacks will be provided. Please let us know if you intend to make it out!

When and Where:
Monday, February 1
7:15 PM – 8:30 PM

Veritas Community Church
345 E 2nd Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43201