Wednesday, December 8, 2010

This drawing of mine represents the moment that I truly felt like i belonged and fit in at the University of Dayton. River Stewards has given me so many opertunities that I would had never had unless I was part of this group. I have come to love the city of Dayton more than I thought I would. I have seen several different angles of Dayton and the view I drew is by far my favorite. When I saw the city from the river it was a clam and beautiful. A side of Dayton I had never experienced before. Because of River Stewards I truly feel like I have found my place both at the University of Dayton and have been connected to the City itself. I love River Stewards bottom line! Its my family away from home!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Two Christmas Parties in One Day!

Christmas spirit is definitely in the air at the Fitz center! This past Friday I attended the Fitz Center Christmas Luncheon and then the River Stewards Christmas party. The Fitz Center Christmas luncheon transformed the KU W. Ballroom with poinsettias as center-pieces, Christmas cookies decorating the tables, and a pianist playing festive background music. After Mr. Ferguson welcomed everyone to the luncheon and Emily Kline led us in prayer, our lunch was served. The seating arrangements was a treat in itself because most of us sat with other divisions of the Fitz Center and it was a pleasure to meet more people and hear about what activities they do under the Fitz umbrella. Everyone that attended the luncheon walked away with a poinsettia and a snowman, or coffee mug. Also, I have to compliment the KU waiters for being so friendly and really making me feel welcome! It was a lovely lunch.

Christmas did not end there though; A couple of hours later the River Stewards had a Christmas party of our own! While munching on Christmas cookies, we each shared a reflection for the semester. Some people brought in pictures, shared stories, and even made collages (Ann). So many of the new stews shared fond memories and really seemed to be enjoying the River Stewards program. After the reflections we had our white elephant gift exchange! I was one of the higher numbers so I waited to see if I wanted to steal from anyone, and I did. I stole Golden Grahams from Ryan- thanks Ryan!

Overall, I had a wonderful, spirited day! Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dayton Explorers take UD students to the Dayton Art Institute

The Dayton Explorers, the Senior Stewards’ capstone project, took 12 students to the Dayton Art Museum Saturday, November 20. This was our biggest turnout to date! We reached out to students through our Facebook group, also called Dayton Explorers, an email to all the international students, and a digital flyer shown below.

The Dayton Art Institute, located across the Monument Street Bridge from downtown, has been a Dayton establishment for 91 years. It is easily accessible, close to campus, and free! It was chosen as a destination of the Dayton Explorers because it is a hallmark of the Dayton cityscape and is a place of history. The museum displays a permanent collection and is temporarily featuring works by the Dayton native, Bing Davis. The Art Institute is truly a gem of downtown Dayton.

Out of the students that joined us for the trip, there were multiple first years and one graduate student in the group. Several of the attendants were also international students. A few of those who came on the trip had already been to the museum once, but for most of the students this was a new experience. The majors of the students also varied, adding even more variety to the already diverse group. Below are several photos taken throughout the trip.

For the Senior Stewards, planning these events has been a learning experience. Inspiring students to leave campus and to see what Dayton has to offer has been a challenge. We have discovered that students respond most to online advertising rather than paper flyers. In addition, students are often very willing to explore Dayton but need help in terms of providing transportation and pointing out specific sites around Dayton that would be the most interesting to students.

We are hopeful that when our events start up again next semester we will have even higher turnouts, and the diversity of the group shows that all different types of students are interested in exploring the Dayton area. Each successive event has garnered more attendees and with exciting event selections like the Air Force Museum and ice skating planned for next semester, we are hoping to increase our attendance levels even more.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Trotwood Madison

Several stewards visited Trotwood Madison high school last week to teach the students how to kayak in the school’s pools. The stewards taught five class sessions and worked with the Swim and Dive class in addition to students with mental disabilities.

Many of the students recognized the stewards and were excited to work with them again. This was the Institute’s fourth time working with Trotwood Madison and the program will continue to be offered semi-annually in the future.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Photos on Photobucket

Hello everyone!

For a little while now, I have been creating a Photobucket for us. This way everyone can view and enjoy multiple albums of pictures. They have been taken by different people from all sorts of our events over the past few years. It is not done yet, but pictures will continue to be added. Enjoy!

Search for: RiversInstituteUD



Orientation 2010

Englewood Spring 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

River Institute Meeting

Today at the Rivers Institute meeting, we were able to hear from Susan Byrnes and Dennie Eagleson about their audio compilations from the orientation trip. Having not been able to go on the orientation trip due to scheduling conflicts, I was very excited to hear what everyone had to say.

Susan Byrnes, the director at Artstreet, compiled everyone saying three words describing the river or his or her expectations for the trip. After cycling through everyone saying their three words individually, she added a beat, some water sounds, and made the words echo. I'm sure Leslie will upload the audio to the blog.

Dennie Eagleson compiled the stewards' reactions after their first day of paddling on the river. It was pretty long but also gave some great insight into how much we love being on the river and how exciting our first experiences always are. The most common description of how everyone felt after the first day of paddling was "tired".

Leslie also brought up the idea of having these clips and possibly some stewards going on air with WUDR. According to Susan, students, as well as parents and alumni, listen to this show quite frequently because the shows are available online as well as on air. This would be a great idea for a different type of publicity.

I really enjoyed this part of the meeting because, having not been able to make orientation, I felt like I had missed out on how everyone reacted and felt about the experience. Now I get a glimpse of how cool it was and it makes me excited for next year's paddle.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Dayton Development Coalition

On Friday, Maureen Patterson came to speak to us representing the Dayton Development Coalition.

“The Dayton Development Coalition is the regional economic development and advocacy organization whose mission is to support job creation and prosperity for the citizens of the Dayton Region. Working as a public/private partnership, we are growing the Dayton Region, and we are one of the most livable regions in America.” (from the website)

This organization is made up of a Board of Trustees ranging from a wide variety of occupations such as Dr. Daniel Curran, the President of our University of Dayton as well as many other academic and corporate committee members. Their focus in the Dayton region is on assets, universities, businesses, the workforce, and the community. In promoting this area, the four main types of businesses targeted are: Information Technology, Aerospace Research and Development, Advanced Materials and Manufacturing, and Human Sciences and Healthcare. The Dayton Development Coalition decided that these types of businesses would share in the most beneficial relationships between themselves and the Dayton region.

In doing this, they have established the H2Open for Business program advertising the great water resources this area has to offer. The ideal types of businesses for this program would need extensive amounts of water and be responsible in its use. This program would boost economic development and bring many other opportunities to this area.

The H2Open for Business is a well researched program that promotes the water resources, the Dayton region, the aquifer, the academic water resources, and the recreation and quality of life in the area. The Dayton Development Coalition wants to use this program to entice businesses that use water in their operations to consider the city of Dayton and the surrounding area as a location for expansion. According to the article, “The Ten Biggest American Cities That Are Running Out of Water” the lack of water issue is larger than most people realize.

If the Dayton area and its abundant water resources could be properly advertised in these dry cities, maybe more water intensive businesses would consider moving to this beneficial area. With the arrival of business, jobs and internships could be created, it would help boost the economy, generate academic opportunity, and renew innovation.

Not only does this area posses an exorbitant amount of renewable water systems, the community is very protective of their natural resources. The Dayton Water Conference is put on annually and sponsored by many local organizations where issues of business, development, sustainability, technology, and environment are all discussed.

All the promotion to businesses will be advantageous for the Dayton region as long as one thing is kept in mind, the philosophical principle of Utility: the greatest good, for the most people, over the longest period of time. Economic growth would be great for any city, but not at the cost of the permanent damage of the natural resources. This area is truly fortunate to have these incredible resources, and with the support of a caring community, we can benefit and enjoy them for generations to come.

Region Water Assets from the Dayton Development Coalition:

Philadelphia: Trying to Create a Riverfront

Hi All,

While in the city of brotherly love this weekend, I found an editorial in The Philadelphia Inquirer. The editorial is a great example of how lucky we are in Dayton to have a riverfront with paths and a place like RiverScape to experience the river downtown. Also, this is another great example of a city trying use the riverfront as a place for community to come.

Inquirer Editorial: By the river

Along Philadelphia's waterfront, the street grid lives.
There may be problems with the draft master plan for the Delaware River waterfront, but it does appear to embrace the great idea of running streets down to the water in a modified grid pattern - just like any other real city neighborhood.
Adding streets to the former dockland and industrial properties along the river would be vital to creating the pedestrian-friendly community envisioned by Mayor Nutter's planned rebirth of the central seven-mile stretch along the Delaware.
But it also happens to be an aspect of the plan that seems to get under the collar of some developers, who see the waterfront as a site for big-parcel projects more along the lines of the suburbs.
Having their properties bisected by a street grid would turn such plans on their heads, forcing developers to think more creatively and to build designs for residential, entertainment, and commercial services that are more in keeping with an urban setting.
Nutter plans new parks, low-rise development, and better pedestrian access, including a new pedestrian bridge to South Street.
Gated communities surrounded by setbacks and "open space" where the public is barred won't bring life back to riverfront neighborhoods, no matter how many people buy condos. So it makes perfect sense to rely, in part, upon a grid design to shape what happens along the waterfront.
While the master plan no doubt will undergo modifications prior to its being made final, it's vital that the grid concept makes it into the final design.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dayton's "Water Reclamation Plant"

Last Friday, October 29th, the River Steward 2013 cohort made a visit to the Dayton Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP)... or more accurately called: the Water Reclamation Plant. The tour gave us an idea of what the necessary steps are for purifying the water that will be returned to the Great Miami River. The plant first opened in 1929, and is now capable of discharging 72 millions gallons of clean water each day!! The smell of the site was not too pleasing at some locations, but it was still interesting to actually see the steps from the waste water we produce each day to the clear water that is returned to the river. The reclaimed water can even contribute up to 40 to 50% of the total river flow during drought conditions.
Now you may be wondering what happens to all that "waste" that is removed from the water... the sludge is anaerobically digested into biosolids, which are then dehydrated and used as fertilizer on approved farms. The WWTP is under the control of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, which requires a certain degree of water purity before it can be discharged into the Great Miami River.
For more information about the Dayton WWTP, visit

ASI 345 - Week 10

Week 10 examined the regional-local continuum and how people perceive issues based on their understanding of a city or region. Janet Bednarek used several examples to show the different ways people identify the cities and regions they live in. Prior to class, the students participated in an online discussion about social issues surrounding rivers and how those issues can be viewed from a local or regional perspective. St. Louis was discussed as an example of how a river can serve as an economic and racial divide.

During the second half of the class Stan Kegley, Project Manager for the city of Troy, discussed Troy’s efforts to leverage the river as an asset for the city and the region. The Treasure Island River Series in Troy began several years and has moved forward while continuing to seek funding. The city hopes the Tin Roof restaurant and the river series will bring more people and attention to the river while making Troy and other cities along the river a destination.

Stan also began a discussion of Ohio’s Great Corridor which will continue in following weeks. Ohio’s Great Corridor focuses on advertising and promoting local and regional events and amenities throughout the Miami Valley.

ASI 345 - Week 9

After reading about other cities that have piped their rivers and streams, the students traced the flow of UD’s very own Rubicon Creek which now flows underground carrying runoff from campus straight to the Great Miami. The class began with Bro. Don Geiger and Katie Schoenenberger reviewing sustainability and using maps to show the current path of the Rubicon Creek.

The students trekked out in the rain to four different sites on campus and reviewed historic photos of those locations. They answered questions about the cost/benefits of covering the Rubicon Creek and the sustainability of this practice.

Finally the students were asked to consider the Rubicon Creek and how UD should view sustainable planning in the future.

ASI 345 - Week 8

Week 8 focused on power structures in a city, characteristics of each structure and when they are most effective. Janet Bednarek used the first half of the class to review the reading Power in the City and break down the different structures. Dick Ferguson then spent the remainder of the time applying the structures and roles to a current issue in Dayton: low-dam removal. This time was also used to discuss the Fitz Center’s model for community building and leadership.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Junior River Stewards visit Miamisburg

On Friday, October 15th, the Junior River Stewards took a trip to the City of Miamisburg to continue learning about Ohio's Great Corridor, including the communites living along it and their wonderful river and downtown opportunities. A big thanks to Katie Frank, the Miamisburg Downtown Development Coordinator, who organized a great program! The Stewards met with the Mayor of Miamisburg and listened to him talk about the city's history all the way to the present and their vision for the future. We also heard from Debbie McLaughlin, the Director of Parks and Recreation of Miamisburg, who explained the current and longterm plans for their riverfront park project.

We ended with a great tour of the downtown and met with merchant owners who are actively involved in the Miamiburg Merchant Association. It was interesting to hear what drew each of them to opening up their business in the historic storefront of Miamisburg. We all had a great time and appreciate the wonderful hospitality we received from everyone....not to mention the yummy cookies from Star City Cafe and the free hamburger coupons from the Hamburger Wagon. We also stopped by Great Miami Outfitters and A Tase of Wine. Looking forward to our next visit.....Thanks!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

News from Maine

Hello All!
I hope this post finds you well. I've sent out an email through Leslie that has a video update I've prepared for your viewing pleasure.
But, in case you haven't seen this already, here's a little something I've been up to in Maine.
Love and miss you all!

p.s. You can't see the description for this video I put on YouTube so I'll copy it here:

"Ok, so this is proof that I have indeed learned to roll, but that I also need lots more practice.
Keep in mind, this was definitely not my best roll, especially because I knew the pressure was on from the camera recording (and also because my instructor was cute!)"

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sophomore Mini-Course - Tree Tour!

Last Friday, the sophomore Stewards went on UD's tree tour. The tour was created by senior Steward Nolan Nicaise.

The tour guides you to 20 trees around campus providing interesting information about each tree species.

The Stewards spent some quality time together learning about each tree and enjoying the fall colors.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

ASI 345 - Week 7

After learning about Pittsburgh and Dayton’s plentiful water resources, week 8 examined water law and the development of Los Angeles with a scarcity of water. Blake Watson, a professor from UD’s School of Law, led the class through a case study he developed for understanding water law in the United States. The class explored the differences in prior appropriation and riparian right and how water laws developed differently in the east and the west as a result of quality and quantity issues. The session called on the class’s understanding of groundwater, how water moves through the aquifer and ecosystem services.

The article California Scheming and video clips from the documentary “Cadillac Desert” provided an in depth look at the development of Los Angeles and how the city secured its future by draining the Owens Valley. Unfortunately, more and more cities around the world are facing water shortages and must find new ways of securing water. The class will build upon this topic later in the semester as we examine global water issues.

Friday, October 15, 2010

ASI 345 - Week 6

Staying true to an experiential nature, the class went on its fourth fieldtrip in six weeks. How else could we expect the class to experience the power of river city without taking them downtown? The majority of the class took place in Five Rivers Recreation Department’s offices.

Dr. Janet Bednarek began the class with a discussion of the reading and presentation on the evolution of Pittsburgh as a river city. Greg Brumitt, Director of Recreation at Five Rivers, led the second part of the class examining Dayton as a river city and recent efforts to revitalize the region through our water resources. More specifically, the Greg chronicled the evolution of the low dam removal discussion in recent years.

The session ended with a walk along the levy walls at RiverScape and a discussion of options for making our rivers safer and more accessible in the future.

ASI 345 - Week 5

After learning about and experiencing the river, it was time to take a step back and learn about the flood plains. For this class, the students ventured to a goat prairie overlooking the Great Miami and Hills and Dales MetroPark. The session began in the classroom reviewing aerial maps of the sites we were about to visit in relation to the river and aquifer.

At Calvary cemetery, a short hike through a wooded area brought the class to a relict goat prairie with a great view of the activity on the flood plain. Bro. Don Geiger led the class in imagining the changes that have taken place since Dayton was founded and understanding the impact of developing on the flood plains.

At Hills and Dales, Susan Byrnes led the group in an observation activity. Looking through a square cutout, each student focus on a single area in front of them noting first the physical attributes, then looking a little deeper using knowledge to make assumptions about those attributes. The final task was to look at the same area with a third eye; a greater appreciation of what they saw without looking to explain or classify it. The first two tasks proved to be much easier.

Through the fieldtrip, the class saw a great comparison between the developed flood plains of the Great Miami and the natural headwater area in Hills and Dales. They learned a valuable technique for making observations and an appreciation for reflection. Finally as the class traveled back to campus, the students were shocked to learn just how close Hills and Dales is to UD and what a great place it is to reconnect with nature.