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
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.

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!

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

Resident Canada Geese Management – Flow Public Meeting

Canada Geese enjoying the Scioto Mile.

Canada Geese enjoying the Scioto Mile in downtown Columbus.


Please join us for our next public information meeting 7 pm 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!

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!