Ohio Wesleyan professor John Krygier (left) accepts a Northern Olentangy Watershed (NOW) Conservation Award on behalf of the university at the 2018 NOW Festival. Also receiving awards were the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, accepted by Bob Gable; retired Delaware Public Utilities Director Brad Stanton; and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, accepted by Kerstin Carr. (Photo courtesy of the City of Delaware)

Improving the Environment NOW

OWU’s Environment and Sustainability Program Earns Conservation Award

By Cole Hatcher

Over the past decade, they’ve installed rain gardens and conducted river tributary research.

They’ve added reusable to-go food containers to campus dining halls and saved tons of reusable clothes, furniture, and other items from local landfills through a May Move-Out program.

And they’ve created an annual “green week” celebration and spearheaded the creation and adoption of an aspirational campus sustainability plan.

For these eco-friendly efforts, Ohio Wesleyan University students, faculty, and staff are being honored with a 2018 Northern Olentangy Watershed (NOW) Conservation Award.

The award was presented at this summer’s NOW Festival to OWU’s Environment and Sustainability Department and accepted by program Director John Krygier, Ph.D.

According to event organizers, the Conservation Award is given to “those individuals or groups within the watershed that exemplify the true spirit of environmental stewardship and preservation in the watershed” based on their “leadership, inspiration of work to others, utilization of innovative strategies and techniques to achieve meaningful results, and their ability to foster sustainable growth within the watershed community.”

Ohio Wesleyan earned its award in the “organization/business” category. Also receiving 2018 NOW Conservation Awards were:

  • Brad Stanton (individual), who worked for 32 years for the City of Delaware, including 11 as its director of public utilities. Stanton’s long list of accomplishments include installing three canoe launch sites to improve public accessibility to the Olentangy River, installing pervious pavers and porous concrete to increase water infiltration and slow run-off at multiple city parks, and establishing a cost-share rain barrel program for city residents.
  • Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (government), for programs to sustain and enhance watersheds in and adjacent to central Ohio.
  • Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks & Watercraft (government), for its Scenic Rivers Program. This includes a Stream Quality Monitoring program that coordinates hundreds of volunteers across the state to examine the health of the state’s waterways.

Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s Environment and Sustainability Program, including OWU’s Environmental Science and Environmental Studies majors at www.owu.edu/environment. Read the program blog at www.owu.edu/sustainability.