Olentangy restoration: Community involvement is key to success

Many groups and organizations affiliated with Ohio State participate in a multitude of philanthropic projects around campus each year. Currently, one of the largest and arguably most visible projects happening on campus is the restoration of the Olentangy River corridor (including the removal of the Fifth Avenue dam, shown here).

Research conducted by a group of undergraduate students in the School of Environment and Natural Resources’ “Communicating Environmental and Natural Resources Information” course, ENR 2367, discovered that community involvement is a great way to increase the success of projects of this nature.

The students, members of the course’s “Community Involvement in Restoration” research group, found that involving the local community in a restoration project instills a sense of pride and ownership over the natural resource and provides benefits to individuals and to the community as a whole.

Options are endless when considering ways to involve the community in a restoration project. The models assessed in the research came from all parts of the country and from different types of ecosystems. The research focused on highly successful restoration projects.

‘Ohio State has an amazing opportunity’ 

What all the examples had in common was generous support from their surrounding community. This support manifested in many different ways, including but not limited to community festivals, educational outreach, and volunteer opportunities for the community to be directly involved.

Ohio State has an amazing opportunity to make a difference in the community and in the Olentangy River restoration process. By getting the community involved in the progress of the river and by educating residents about the river’s ecosystem, we hope to create environmental literacy in our community.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *