A year-end message from the president

As the year is ending we have been reflecting on what an amazing year 2022 has been. Together we have done so much to help the Lower Olentangy watershed. Over 3,384 volunteer hours have been spent cleaning up trash, planting trees, maintaining pollinator gardens, monitoring the tributaries of the Olentangy River, removing honeysuckle and other invasive plants and so much more. We couldn’t do this work without your time and financial support. Thank you!!!

Thank you for reading this special letter from FLOW Board President, Kelly Thiel:

This fall, on a beautiful afternoon, I took a walk along the Olentangy trail just south of Henderson Road. What used to be open grassy fields next to Whetstone High School is now planted with a row of native trees, ready to provide years of shade to trail users and an improved ecosystem for the area. This successful project is just one of many that FLOW made possible this year. Our grant writers are always on the lookout for opportunities to bring dollars to our communities and improve the watershed for all of its inhabitants. These trees were obtained through a grant FLOW received and planted by FLOW volunteers. Our hope is that everyone who passes by these trees benefits from their proven ability to clean the air, improve the soil, increase wildlife habitat, filter storm water and regulate the surrounding temperature.

In order to continue to make a difference we rely on the support of generous individuals and businesses in our community. If you have been to a FLOW event in the last couple of years then you are likely familiar with our fabulous event coordinator. With your support we can keep this position filled, keep our tools stored, and the lights on in our small office. We depend on our community recognizing the value of a healthy watershed to continue to fund the work we do.

In these days of increasing costs for everything from groceries to goods and services my family has been using the outdoors as free entertainment and a benefit to our mental health. It can be easy to take our green spaces for granted and ignore that Columbus is one of the fastest growing heat islands; increased development will put a strain on our streams and tributaries. FLOW remains focused on our mission to maintain the value of one of the community’s most precious assets–The Olentangy River. We need your help to continue this mission and meet the environmental challenges ahead.

If you have donated to FLOW in the past, THANK YOU! Our donors and volunteers make FLOW the great organization it is today. We hope that you’ll consider becoming a member of FLOW. You can give a one time gift or we hope you’ll consider giving as a monthly supporter. Your tax-deductible donation will help keep the Olentangy River safe, clean, and healthy for generations to enjoy in the decades to come. Visit the support page on this website for ways to donate.

 

 

 

 

 

STORM DRAIN ART CONTEST DEADLINE EXTENDED

DEADLINE EXTENDED! FLOW is seeking Central Ohio artists to turn storm drains into public art! 

ABOUT THE PROJECT:
FLOW is excited to use public art as a tool for storm drain education. We hope to connect the local businesses, residents and general public to more education on storm drains. We want the art to help explain that what goes down the storm drains exits directly into the Olentangy River.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Artists need to be 18 years old or have parental permission. Artists must demonstrate in their application that they have the ability to complete the project.

TIMELINE:
Round One: Artists submit an application and photos showing 5 different example(s) of current artwork. Deadline: midnight, October 30, 2022.

Thirty (30) artists will be selected and asked to submit artwork specifically for the storm drain.

Round Two: Artists chosen in Round One submit their storm drain design. Deadline for submission: TBD. Artists are paid $50 for their design.

Round Three – final artists’ selection: Twenty (20) artists will be selected and will receive $250 for painting their storm drain mural on a designated storm drain. 

Artists will paint their final design in the spring of 2023, date(s) to be determined.

SELECTION PROCESS:
A panel of community members from FLOW, the University District Organization and the Short North Alliance will select the finalists at each stage.

WHERE WILL THE ART GO?
All artists will be assigned a specific storm drain. Photo, location and storm drain dimensions will be given to artists. Storm drains are in high traffic areas along High Street between the Short North and North Campus area. Each storm drain will be marked so artists do not exceed the storm drain art boundaries. FLOW will have an art storm drain tour on their website as well as create publicity so residents can experience the different artwork and get more information about individual artists.

WHAT SUPPORT WILL BE GIVEN TO THE ARTISTS?
FLOW volunteers will be available to answer questions and provide support during the whole process. All artists will need to sign a waiver for the painting event. Traffic cones and safety vests will be provided. Artists are allowed to bring an assistant on the day of painting.

By participating, artists are giving FLOW permission to use pictures of the chosen artist’s artwork on social media, FLOW’s website, the project report and any other outlets.

The storm drain areas will be power washed before painting day. Pain and mixing containers will be provided. Artists will need to bring their own paint brushes and any additional supplies they want. Once done the art will be sealed and an anti-graffiti coat applied.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:
FLOW is committed to creating and promoting an equitable, diverse and inclusive culture across in their selection process.


DESIGNING YOUR ARTWORK:

Our theme this year is:
The Olentangy River starts here! Only rain down the drain!

Artwork should connect the public to the Olentangy River. You may be surprised to know that the storm drain empties directly into the Olentangy River and we are trying to bring attention to the fact that what goes down the drain goes to the river.

STORM DRAIN DESIGNS MUST ALSO ADHERE TO THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:

  • The physical storm drain must be incorporated into the painting.
  • The artwork must contain no business logos, brands, trademarks or illegal activities depicted.
  • All artwork must be public friendly.

ROUND 1 CHECKLIST:

  • Download and fill out this application and submit it with 5 different examples of current work to
    info@olentangywatershed.org by midnight, October 30, 2022. FLOW will notify the 30 selected artists of their acceptance to Round 2 by October 21

DOWNLOAD APPLICATION FOR ROUND 1 HERE

Want some inspiration? Check out the map and samples of storm drain art created in Goshen, Indiana!

Photo of storm drain with fish art: City of Dayton Department of Water / Art: Laura and Michael Huff.

FLOW Fall Forb Fundraiser!

We’re excited to be partnering with Riverside Native Perennials on a Fall Forb Fundraiser. This will be a great way to get some native plants for pollinators and migrating insects that are looking for fall flowers! Riverside Native Perennials is opening up their whole inventory to FLOW supporters with 40% of the proceeds coming back to FLOW.
To order go to riversidenativeperennials.com/ffff and use promo code FLOW.
All plants will need to be picked up on Saturday, September 24th from 12pm-3pm at the Sawmill Wetlands Education Area (2650 Sawmill Place Blvd., Columbus OH 43235)
Thank you for your support!

FSWCD Backyard Conservation Class – June 28 at Whetstone Library

Help be part of the solution to stormwater pollution! By taking the online course or attending an in-person (free) 90 minute workshop on June 28th at 6:30 – 8:00 PM at Whetstone Library, you can get a rebate for purchasing a rain barrel, compost bin or native plants. Learn more about how what we do in our yards affects clean water and participate in the rebate program at CommunityBackyards.org. The class is a program of Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District.

Location: Columbus Metropolitan Library, Whetstone Branch, 3909 N High St, Columbus, OH 43214

Time: 6:30 – 8:00 pm

The class will also be held Wed., June 22 at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center, 505 W Whittier St, Columbus, OH 43215

Video to learn more:
https://youtu.be/uTFPUDhwrkc

Milkweed Mania

Looking for a way to support the butterflies and other pollinators in your yard? Here’s your chance!

FLOW has teamed up with Riverside Native Perennials for our 2nd annual Milkweed Mania fundraiser. At just $12 per pot, you can choose from 6 different species of milkweed including Sullivant’s, Whorled, Butterfly, Poke, Swamp, and Common.

Ready to order? Orders can be placed online now for pickup on July 16th from 12PM-3PM at Sawmill Wetlands Education Area.

ORDER HERE

*Note: Orders must be picked up on July 16th from 12PM-3PM. Any orders not picked up will be donated to a local greenspace area* 

Spotlight on Super Stars – Cory Richmond

Cory Richmond is being acknowledged as a FLOW Super Star volunteer. He has donated his time and talents to many FLOW projects for years! Cory and his chain saw skills were essential in 2018-19 for clearing dense honeysuckle stands on Kempton Run west of Linworth Rd. In addition, unlike some other chainsaw operators, his expertise in differentiating valuable trees and shrubs from non-native invasive ones was extremely important!

Most recently, Cory has again helped clearing invasive plants at Kempton Run, this time between Linworth and Olentangy River Rd. Last fall he worked at the Indian Hills pool parking lot area, and this spring at the Northwest Church of the Nazarene, helping clear the area for a successful Earth Day tree planting event.

Cory has also assisted in removing honeysuckle and other unwanted vegetation at the Sawmill Wetlands restoration sites , along with clearing out dead trees. He’s also helped out in multiple ways at the Worthington Tree Nursery, including helping install the new irrigation system. Cory is always cheerful and upbeat. He says cutting honeysuckle on a Saturday morning is a good release from his daily work at AquaDoc! And his football training has helped him drag honeysuckle branches tied up with grapevine out of the cutting area! FLOW depends on talented and passionate volunteers like Cory to accomplish the many habitat restoration projects in our watershed! Thanks again, Cory!