What’s ahead for America’s national parks?

The next Environmental Professionals Network (EPN) webinar, set for 10 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, looks at the future of America’s national parks, including the sufficiency of their funding and how they can be more inclusive.

Participating in the webinar is free and open to the public, but you have to register in advance.

EPN, a free professional organization, is a service of CFAES’ School of Environment and Natural Resources.

(Photo: Canyonlands National Park, Utah, Getty Images.)

‘Life at the speed of your feet’

The fourth Environmental Film Series co-hosted by CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources wraps up at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26, with a screening of “3 MPH.” The film, its website says, follows a half dozen friends from Canada to Mexico “on an incredible 3,000-mile six-month thruhike.” One of those friends is Eddie Boyd of Columbus, who has finished the “triple crown” of hiking — the Appalachian, Pacific Crest and Continental Divide trails — and who will be present for the evening.

Find complete details. Watch the trailer above.

Where to launch and paddle around Lake Erie’s islands

A new guide by a partnership including Ohio State’s Ohio Sea Grant program will help you explore Lake Erie’s islands by kayak, canoe and SUP. There’s a launch of it (that you can launch at) June 9.

Outdoor recreation represents a “major service by which the public identifies with and better understands natural resources,” a 2013 U.S. Forest Service report says, “even to the extent that it can foster environmental stewardship.” (Photo: iStock.)

‘We should be able to do these things together’: CFAES alum talks about being ‘Black and Outside’

Jesse Bethea interviewed Nicole Jackson — birder, alumna of CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, and former leader of Outdoor Afro’s Columbus chapter — for a Columbus Underground story called “Black and Outside in Columbus.” Be sure to give it a read …

New partnerships for, and the benefits of, getting more people outside

picture of people kayakingOhio has great potential for outdoor recreation and the good that can come from it. So says CFAES’s David Hanselmann, coordinator of the Environmental Professionals Network. On Dec. 9, the network will host a program on tapping and growing that potential, and you’re invited to attend. Read more. (Photo: iStock.)

Into the great wide open

child in canoe for GBDecember’s monthly breakfast program by the Environmental Professionals Network will look at how to increase recreation access for central Ohioans, especially kids. John O’Meara, executive director of the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks and an alumnus of CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR), will discuss outdoor recreation trends and the park’s strategic plans; and students from SENR and Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business will give a presentation on a proposed “Discovery Center for Outdoor Recreation and Education.” It’s Dec. 10 in Columbus. Details.

Student team: Restored Olentangy needs a boardwalk

boardwalkAttention, all birders: Are you sick of your birding being interrupted by bikers screaming “To your left!”? Do you wish you had a place to go birding without someone scaring all the birds away? Do you want to walk 10 feet without seeing litter? If you answered yes to all these questions, you’ll like what you’re about to hear.

Following completion of the 5th Avenue dam removal project, wetland restoration along the Olentangy River on Ohio State’s campus will take place in the next five years. Along with this restoration, a plan for a boardwalk through the wetland could be put into action.

Now you’re probably asking, “How can a boardwalk help birders?” A boardwalk would mean birders wouldn’t have to fear bikers (who are part of a greener Ohio State too). It would provide a better, safer, litter- and debris-free place to walk and watch birds from. And it would protect the restored wetland’s plant life (which faces its own challenges: click here and here).

The restored wetland will attract more birds, which in turn will attract more birders. Providing a boardwalk for them and for other visitors could lead to a new Ohio State tradition, one where nature and outdoor recreation (not just birding but fishing, etc.) are a large part of the campus and surrounding community (whose involvement is key to the river’s restoration).

So if you want to optimize your birding experience, and the campus experience overall, put your support toward Ohio State building a boardwalk along the Olentangy River.