Sustainable ag’s vision in Ohio? Register by Monday (10/3) for Stinner Summit

Registration continues through Monday (10/3) for Ohio’s fifth annual Stinner Summit, a day devoted to sustainable agriculture and specific new ways to further it. It’s from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Oct. 7 in the Ward Pavilion at Wildwood Preserve Metropark, 4830 W. Central Ave., Toledo. Register here. Our Agroecosystems Management Program is the sponsor, with funding from the Ben Stinner Endowment for Healthy Agroecosystems and Sustainable Communities.

Climate change: For the birds?

How climate change alters the habitats of 147 species of birds in the eastern U.S. is the focus of a webinar this Thursday, Sept. 29, from noon to 1 p.m. The webinar, “Regional Impacts of Climate Change on Forests and Bird Communities,” will be presented by Steve Matthews, a research assistant professor in our college’s School of Environment and Natural Resources. Matthews’  research focuses on understanding the responses of ecological systems in a changing world. For details about the webinar, see Register by Sept. 28. The webinar is sponsored by Ohio State’s Climate Change Outreach Team.

Sequestering Carbon on OSU Properties

Increasing greenhouse gas emissions pose a serious threat to our planet, and mitigation efforts need to be considered to help save the global ecosystem from irreparable damages. As students in ENR 567 last spring, we discovered an opportunity for the university to significantly reduce its annual carbon emissions: planting woodlots on off-campus properties to sequester and store carbon. This would also help the university reach the goal set forth by President Gee to become carbon neutral by 2050.

Through the use of nearly 2,000 acres of undeveloped off-campus properties, carbon emissions can be offset by harnessing the power of biological sequestration in managed forest plots. Using oak-hickory stands over a 45-year rotation, Ohio State would be able to sequester 1,717 metric tons of carbon (mTC) equivalent per year.

These figures compare favorably to the current offset programs employed by Ohio State. As of now, the university’s current offsets total 432 mTC equivalent per year. By planting these “carbon farms,” Ohio State would be able to offset four times more carbon than the current offset programs. This would also offset 5 percent of Ohio State’s remaining emissions after the initial reduction of 34,000 mTCequivalent per year. These carbon farms could offset a significant portion of the unversity’s emissions, as well as create forests that would also provide many other ecological and social benefits.

Photo by Shawn Stone of a managed eucalyptus forest in China.


How local food production could save cities

Cleveland and other post-industrial North American cities have the potential to generate up to 100 percent of their current needs for fresh produce and other food items — retaining millions of dollars in the local economy, creating new jobs, and spurring additional health, social and environmental benefits.

In fact, increased urban food production would add $29-$115 million to Cleveland’s economy annually.

Those are some of the findings of a study conducted by Parwinder Grewal, professor of entomology and director of the Center for Urban Environment and Economic Development at Ohio State University, based in Wooster. The study, “Can cities become self-reliant in food?” was published online on July 20 by the journal Cities.

Read how this could be done and watch a video here.