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FLOW Webinars

“How does road salt impact the river?”

Webinar Nov. 6, 2023, 6:00 pm

By Abby Hileman

Road salt is everywhere during winter months. It keeps us safe on roads and sidewalks, but it can also pose a threat to fish and wildlife as well as human health.

Fish and bugs that live in freshwater streams can’t survive in extra salty water. And many of us (more than 118 million Americans) depend on local streams for drinking water. Water treatment plants are not equipped to filter out the extra salt, so it can end up in your tap water and even corrode your pipes.

Abby Hileman of the Izaak Walton League of America will discuss how they are studying the effects of road salt on our waterways. 


“A Time for Bumble Bees: Native Plants in the Garden and a Pollinator’s Life Cycle”

Webinar July 31, 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm

By David Tomashefski

This presentation uses the life cycle of bumble bees as a starting point for examining an assortment of native plants that are perfect for the home garden. We’ll look at the development of the bumble bee nest and see how the selected plants give the bees what they need – and vice versa – throughout the growing season. For each plant we’ll also examine other wildlife benefits that the plant provides, and see how features such as flower shape, nectar chemistry, and even stem diameter are ideally suited for supporting certain pollinators. And the sum-total of all of these specialized plant – animal interactions is a tremendous amount of biodiversity that we can all enjoy and care for in our yards.

Give your trees a better start in life – by Ryan McCarthy

Monday, April 24 – 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Ryan McCarthy will be talking about restoration efforts along a stretch of the Olentangy behind the Fawcett Center. OSU students in collaboration with FLOW removed thousands of invasive honeysuckle and Callery pear trees and then planted bareroot tree seedlings there a few years ago. He will talk about how those seedlings did: which species grew better, and under what conditions. Find out what they learned and how you can use that information to increase the survival of trees under your care.

Columbus Urban Heat Island Study – by David Celebrezze

Monday, March 6 – 6:00 – 7:00 pm
A well-known environmental and human health risk is the effects of heat in cities, particularly areas where there are few trees but lots of parking lots, buildings, and pavement.  David Celebrezze of the City of Columbus will discuss the August 2022 project to collect data from Columbus neighborhoods and assess temperature differences.  He will also discuss potential steps cities and individuals can take to mitigate the effects of heat as the climate becomes warmer.


Feb. 27, 2023 Foraging in the Watershed – FLOW volunteer David Williams

Unfortunately we were not able to save a video of this presentation. The slides used in the presentation can be viewed HERE.

Have you ever walked past a stand of Sumac or Elderberry or through a grove of Hickory, Maple, or Oak? Have you trod close enough to the water to see Cattails or deep enough in the woods to see blooming Spicebush or through the prairie and the alluring colors of Bee Balm and Cone Flowers? If you answered yes to any of these then congrats! You’ve seen a Native Edible Plant! We learned  how to identify more plants and how to properly harvest them. We also learned more about America’s native sugar producer, the Maple tree! Did you know that it takes roughly 35 gallons of sap to get a gallon of syrup?

FLOW webinar “Converting Turf Grass to Pollinator Garden”

Yard turf does not provide much support to native ecosystems, and often causes environmental problems when it is fertilized or sprayed with herbicides. Increasingly residents here in Central Ohio and throughout the Midwest are converting grass areas in their yard to native pollinator-friendly plants in order to create a healthier environment for all forms of life, including humans.

Our guest speaker is Leslie Shad. Leslie is focused on a sustainable future for people and wild things. She founded and leads Natural Habitat Evanston, serves on the board of Citizens’ Greener Evanston (CGE) (and is Secretary of the board), volunteers in various local park restoration efforts, and is actively engaged with local groups including Bird-Friendly Evanston, the League of Women Voters-Evanston, CGE Energy, Watershed Collective, Chicago Audubon Society, and the Evanston North Shore Bird Club.

If you prefer, you can view the Turf Grass webinar slides here.

Rebecca Rose is the conservation liaison for the Ohio Wildlife Center. She joined the OWC team in 2019 after retiring from the Columbus Zoo where she served as the Zoo’s field conservation officer. She shares her expertise in the areas of wildlife conservation and rehabilitation.

Storm water issues are an increasing problem as increased development in Central Ohio adds impervious surfaces that can’t absorb rainwater, and more severe storms stress already overloaded storm sewers. Dave Reutter of Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District speaks about how storm water affects us all and how you can help prevent ecosystem damage from excess runoff.