Campfires, Kayaks, and Coffee in Clintonville: Wonderful Windows in Worthington

Small Business Saturday – November 28

Local retailers and a Clintonville author are teaming up for a Small Business Saturday celebration on November 28 from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Campfires, Kayaks, and Coffee celebrates the outdoor enthusiast on customers’ gift lists. Special discounts on gift certificates and merchandise from Olentangy Paddle, Columbus Kayak, Clintonville Outfitters, and Crimson Cup will be available and 1% of all sales will be donated to FLOW!!!
Local author Trudy Brandenburg will be signing copies of her latest book, Robins on the Red River: An Emma Haines Kayak Mystery.  Free “cowboy style” coffee, compliments of Crimson Cup will be percolating on campfire stoves to keep you warm while you shop!
Trudy will be donating $1 to FLOW for every book sold!
She will be at Columbus Kayak from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and at Clintonville Outfitters from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

It’s a Wonderful Window Contest!
hosted by the Old Worthington Partnership

We are very excited to announce that Grid Furnishings has chosen to partner with FLOW for the Wonderful Windows Contest.  Downtown Worthington merchants are partnering with local charities to decorate their windows for the holidays and raise funds for those local charities.  Shoppers will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite window display through a ballot box set up inside each participating store. Each vote is a minimum contribution of $1 ($1=one vote). Shoppers may vote as many times as they want, as much as they want and for as many windows as they want. The organization’s window with the most votes (largest contribution) at the end of competition, wins the Bronze Window trophy. More importantly, all the charities will be winners as each charitable organization will keep 100% of all the money placed in their ballot box. All windows will be revealed during the “Big Reveal” at noon on Sunday, November 29, at the start of Holiday Open House, which runs from noon to 5. The competition, and voting, will continue and run through December 26, 2015. We are looking forward to seeing you there!

Resident Canada Geese Management – Flow Public Meeting

Please join us for our next public information meeting on December 7, 2015!

Our guest lecturer will be Jeff Pelc from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). He will be speaking about resident Canada geese and how to effectively manage damages associated with them. He will touch on their life history, protection status/laws, and management techniques, including examples from the Olentangy river project.

345 E 2nd Ave
Columbus, OH 43201
(Veritas Community Church)

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

Green Collaborative Achievement Award Presented to FLOW


Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW) was presented the Green Collaborative Achievement Award at the annual Summit on Sustainability held by the Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC). The Green Collaborative Achievement Award recognizes a group of entities or individuals who have shown effectiveness in producing environmental accomplishments through a collaborative effort. FLOW and their partners have created a foundation of success for several on-going and new initiatives that support the fulfillment of FLOW’s mission – 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.
Programs like the Adopt-A-Pond or FLOW’s Stream Quality Monitoring (SQM) initiative are all aimed at improving water quality, increasing the health of our watersheds, and offering different pathways for citizen watershed stewardship. On-going initiatives for the education and advocacy for installing rain barrels, rain gardens, and restoring the tributaries and river corridors of the lower Olentangy through invasive species removal, litter clean-ups, and native plantings are also entrenched in the spirit of collaboration.”

Planting 300,000 Trees Citywide by 2020

Branch Out Columbus 300,000 Trees by 2020
September, 15, 2015

FLOW has joined Branch Out Columbus, a citywide partnership to plant 300,000 trees by 2020.

Mayor Michael B. Coleman and Columbus City Council President Andrew J. Ginther  joined the Weinland Park community, FLOW and more than 20 other non-profit organizations to announce the start of the community wide effort to plant 300,000 trees and a pilot program to develop an urban tree nursery.  The newly planted trees will be part of an effort to increase the city’s urban tree canopy.

“The City of Columbus is committed to a 27% tree canopy by 2020, but we cannot do it alone.” said Mayor Coleman.  “That is why we are branching out by creating the “Branch Out Columbus” campaign calling for community wide action.”  Through the Recreation & Parks Foundation, the City has set up a fund at the Columbus Foundation where businesses and residents can donate money towards the planting of trees in the community.  “Trees are an important part of improving the quality of life in Columbus,” said Council President Ginther. “From cleaning the air and water to improving property values and fighting greenhouse gases, trees make Columbus a great place to live and work.”

The urban tree canopy in Columbus is currently estimated to cover 22% of the land (31,171 acres),  according to a recent assessment led by the Columbus Recreation & Parks Division of Forestry and prepared by consultant, Plan-It-Geo.  These trees provide a multitude of economic, environmental, and social benefits, conservatively valued at more than $12.1 million annually, according to the study.

Mayor Coleman and residents of the Weinland Park neighborhood also announced a pilot program for an urban tree nursery. The vacant land, owned by the City of Columbus’ Land Bank and Campus Partners, on 8th Avenue near 5th Avenue will be the city’s first Urban Tree Nursery. The vision is for the nursery to be a place where trees can grow to be planted in the neighborhood and where residents can learn about the importance of trees and how to properly care for them. The goal is to have at least four urban tree nurseries established in target neighborhoods by the year 2020.

An executive order will be prepared to preserve and restore trees on all city led construction projects. To help residents on private property, the City will pay up to a $50 rebate to plant native trees on their property while supplies last (currently there are enough funds for approximately 400 trees). The program is part of the Columbus GreenSpot Backyard Conservation Program .

For more information about the Branch Out Columbus- 300,000 trees by 2020 campaign, and to see a copy of the Urban Tree Canopy Assessment, please visit .

FLOW Receives 2015 Conservation Stewardship Award

Conservation Stewardship Award 2015Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed received a Conservation Stewardship Award from the Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District.  FLOW was recognized for its enthusiasm and efforts toward promoting and improving water quality and stream life in Franklin County.


Date: September 17, 2015.

Clintonville Area Pilot Project – BluePrint Columbus

Adena Brook in Clintonville is the site of a pilot project by the City of Columbus to investigate “the best method for eliminating the sanitary sewer overflow into Adena Brook in Whetstone Park.” The goal is to determine the best methods to reduce the amount of rain water that makes its way into the sanitary sewer system, causing the overflows. In addition, the city will be investigating green infrastructure options for updating its stormwater system. The goal of these updates is to clean and reduce the stormwater flow and help to protect our ravines and streams.

“Open House Events” are scheduled to provide a general overview about the project. The next open house will be held at Whetstone Shelter House 6 – 8 p.m. on June 29, 2015. Six additional neighborhood meetings will be held in July to provide specific information on the green infrastructure planned for specific streets.

For more information please visit the City of Columbus website for the Clintonville area pilot project, or view a short video about Blueprint Columbus.

Clintonville Area Commission Recognizes FLOW for Outstanding Service

On April 2, 2015, the Clintonville Area Commission recognized the Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed for “outstanding service, leadership, and contributions to protecting the Olentangy River and surrounding lands.”

The Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed appreciates and is honored by this recognition from the Clintonville Area Commission. In addition, FLOW would like to thank the residents of Clintonville for their incredible support, participation and assistance in protecting our watershed.

Certificate of Recognition:
Resolution recognizing the Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed.

Coming Attractions


FLOW has lots to choose from this year.

Tree planting
There are many  locations available through Green Columbus ( You can request free native tree seedlings for your own use.

Butterfly gardens
FLOW is looking for sites to plant three butterfly pollinator gardens with the focus on Monarchs. Volunteers are also needed to water and weed the new gardens. Garden clubs or other groups or individuals can email FLOW.

FLOW’s Adopt-A-Pond program will continue improving more ponds in the Olentangy watershed. This includes trees, other vegetation, nutrient control and other factors that lead to healthy, clean water. Additional ponds are being sought.

Camp Mary Orton
FLOW has a big project initiative this year to remove invasive plants from a large forested area at Camp Mary Orton. This is close to the good habitat at Flint Run and the exceptional warmwater habitat reach of the Olentangy.

Olentangy Village and Clinton-Como Park
FLOW is working with the Olentangy Village Condo Association to minimize invasive plants there. This is a key spot adjacent to Clinton Como Park, which has been cleared of invasives and being replanted with native vegetation. It is also across from the OSU wetlands. Less invasive honeysuckle in the surrounding area means these areas will have a better chance of remaining native.

River Cleanups
FLOW’s river cleanup program removes trash from and around rivers. Trash is more than unsightly. Metals rust and pollute the river and plastics get covered with silt and prevent plants and animals from living there. Styrofoam breaks into bits and is eaten by fish. Cleanups will be scheduled and listed on FLOW’s website, and those walking along trails can pick up litter to help keep the river healthy.

Eyes and Ears of the River
A river steward is someone who keeps an eye on the river and reports issues. For those who want to do more, there is a need to look for bugs and check water chemistry. FLOW is planning to partner with the Sierra Club to train interested individuals.

For more Information
Unless noted otherwise, for more information about any FLOW activity, send email to and see the Facebook group Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW)..

The Big Give is May 12 – Amplify your generosity to FLOW

The Big Give is a 24-hour online giving rally to benefit community nonprofits. Show your community spirit and support the Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW) online using PowerPhilanthropy.® A record $1.3 million Bonus Pool will amplify giving on a pro rata basis.  This means that everyone who gives will have their donation(s) increased based on the total amount raised during The Big Give.

All major credit cards, with a minimum donation of $20, are accepted. All credit card fees are covered by The Columbus Foundation— so 100 percent of Big Give donations go to FLOW.

It’s easy to participate!

1. CLICK on The Big Give banner when you visit, beginning at 10:00 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, May 12. SELECT Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed.

2. GIVE securely using a major credit card, with a minimum of $20. Columbus Foundation donors can also make a grant (minimum of $100) through their Donor Advised Fund or Supporting Foundation.

3. CELEBRATE, knowing that you are strengthening our community for all! Share your experience and why you gave, and follow The Big Give at #BigGiveTCF.

The funds raised during The Big Give will support FLOW’s mission to educate residents about how they can help protect the Olentangy for future generations.

A Fund for FLOW’s Future

FLOW has taken a step to protect its long-term financial security by setting up a $25,000 endowment fund with Columbus Foundation.

FLOW Treasurer Brian Ogle with Lisa Jolley of Columbus Foundation and FLOW Chair Gretchen Farnung met to establish the Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed Fund on May 8, 2014.

FLOW Treasurer Brian Ogle with Lisa Jolley of Columbus Foundation and FLOW Chair Gretchen Farnung met to establish the Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed Fund on May 8, 2014.

FLOW’s income and expenses have fluctuated over the past few years, but success with grants and corporate donations and a continued determination to cut expenses helped to build a nest egg to invest in Columbus Foundation Green Funds. When needed, FLOW can draw on this investment. It is hoped that the endowment may encourage interest from larger philanthropic groups. The Fund will let FLOW earn a higher return than typical bank accounts and help achieve the mission of a clean and safe Olentangy River for all to enjoy.