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FLOW maintains three tree nurseries, one in Worthington on Godown Road next to the dog park, one in Weinland Park on 8th Avenue, and one at Del-co Water in Delaware County. All three are cared for by volunteers. Special work days are held when we receive saplings in early spring to get the trees in pots; after that they are cared for throughout the summer until fall, when we hold special events to pass the ready-to-plant trees and shrubs on to restoration projects and also directly to homeowners in the watershed.


(by Jim Fronk)

The purpose of the Worthington nursery, started in 2018, is to increase the size and survivability of trees that FLOW plants and gives to the community. The nursery gives FLOW more native plants at a better size. The nursery includes native species like sycamore, oaks, dogwood, spicebush, elderberry, filbert, black cherry, hickory, river birch, and bald cypress.

It’s in its second year with an automated watering system. This year, we are adding a seventh row of trees and have planted 1500 seedlings from 19 different varieties of trees and shrubs.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of our efforts. Last year, we had a regular and dedicated group of volunteers who showed up every Thursday morning to weed, fertilize and maintain the nursery.  We also had multiple, corporate sponsored volunteer days.  The efforts of those volunteers resulted in a productive 2023 growing season, allowing us to give away almost 1000 viable plants to homeowners and organizations within the Olentangy watershed.  We welcome anyone wanting to help us make 2024 equally productive.

An acorn germination bed (with sturdy protection from rodents) was added in late 2023; we look forward to increasing our supply of oaks in 2024!

Worthington Tree Nursery potting event 2024

Over 1500 saplings were potted up in 3 gallon pots in the spring of 2024.


tending the Worthington tree nursery

The Worthington Tree Nursery was updated in 2023 with landscape cloth, an irrigation system, and a storage shed.


(by Mike Sapp)

The Weinland Park nursery was started on two city vacant lots in 2016 with a grant from American Forests.  The purpose of the nursery is to grow-up bare root stock in 3-gallon containers for distribution in the Weinland Park neighborhood and in the lower Olentangy Watershed.  A raised bed system was installed in 2020 to facilitate planting, tree removal and overwintering of trees.  Engineers Without Borders, an OSU student organization, later built two additional beds to expand the capacity to over 850 potted trees.  They also made a bicycle operated pump which can be used to distribute rain water that is captured in 2-500 gallon tanks attached to a neighboring building.  The nursery has an acorn germination bed; acorns are planted in late fall and the new oaks are potted up in the spring.

Weinland tree nursery

Volunteers at Weinland nursery in 2023.


Raised beds at Weinland tree nursery

Raised beds provide moisture retention throughout the summer and extra protection for any trees that need to be overwintered until they are big enough to be transplanted.


(by Fred Milan)

Del-Co Water is in Delaware County and provides drinking water to eight central Ohio counties. The nursery grew out of our Environmental Sustainability Committee.  Del-Co owns a large amount of real estate and while some of it needs to be managed according to the OHEPA or ODNR standards, the rest of it was being mowed just to maintain it.  To reduce our carbon footprint, we began restoring some of these areas with native trees and pollinator fields.

The nursery is two-fold, it covers area we don’t have to maintain and produces trees to plant in restoration areas.  Last year with the help of FLOW and Accenture volunteers we potted almost 400 trees.  This year the same groups came back, and we potted 600 more trees.  We were also able to temporarily store 200 potted trees from another nursery last fall until Preservation Parks was able to get them in the ground.

Volunteer day at Del-Co in 2024

Volunteers potting up new saplings at Del-Co in 2024. Some new construction required the nursery to move to a new location on the property, so that volunteer help was really needed! 


Fall saplings

Saplings at Del-Co in the fall, ready for their permanent homes.