Let’s include caring for our local environment on our list of resolutions

Welcome to 2022! This year let’s make resolutions that not only help us as individuals but also help our local watershed and environment. We all can work together to make this the best place possible for all. In 2021 the Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed helped pick up over 8 tons of trash and planted over 828 ball & burlap and containerized trees in the Lower Olentangy Watershed. Here are some great ways that you can personally make a difference at your home and in the community.

  • Pick up Litter
    Get a pair of gloves, a reusable bag and help pick up litter. You can do this by yourself, ask some friends or volunteer with a group. You could do this in your own neighborhood, at a local park or along a trail.
  • Storm Drains
    Only Rain should go down the Drain. Do you know that the storm drains along our streets go straight to a river? They do! Please keep all lawn chemicals, soaps, and oils from going down the storm drain. Remember nothing down the drain but the rain!
  • Plant Native Plants and Trees
    Why should we plant native plants and trees? Native plants and trees support our native wildlife, grow strong long roots to protect the soil and require less watering than grass. Check out FLOWOhio.org for more information about native Ohio plants.
  • Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Right
    According to SWACO, 76% of what goes to the Franklin County landfill could have been diverted and reused, recycled or composted. Check out SWACO’s website at recycleright.org for more great information on these important R’s.
  • Get involved in your Community by Volunteering
    Volunteer with a local organization that is working on sustainability initiatives. I work with the local nonprofit, Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW). Their 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. FLOW is able to do the work it does because of its amazing volunteers and sponsors. Some of the ways you could be involved is by volunteering for a service event, such as native tree plantings, litter clean ups, invasive plant removals, planting pollinator gardens, and/or stream quality monitoring. To get involved with FLOW go to FLOWohio.org and follow them on social media. Another great way to get involved in your community is by joining or starting a neighborhood “Green Team”. Many communities have started a group focused on local sustainability initiatives. I’m personally part of the Worthington Partnership Green Team (@worthingtongreenteam).

There are a lot of additional ways you can make a difference. Go to FLOWohio.org to find out more and to learn about volunteer opportunities. I hope everyone has a safe & wonderful 2022!

Sara Gallaugher
FLOW Service Event Coordinator

This article appeared as a guest editorial in the Clintonville Spotlight for January 2022