Monday, March 29, 2010

River Leadership Curriculum Progress

On March 23rd the Rivers Institute held an orientation and workshop session for the River Leadership Curriculum. Faculty, community partners, and students came together to discuss what the four subject units (River Science, River Cities, Water Civilization and the Common Good, and Sustainability) of the curriculum will look like in the Fall. Some great ideas came out of the session.

Next, each group that represents each subject unit will be meeting multiple times before the semester is over in order to plan out what the development this summer will need to accomplish.

It was great to see the groups working together to make the curriculum great!

Thanks to all who attended the session!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Update from 2011 Cohort's Mini-course Meeting

This week during our mini-course we, the junior River Stewards, discussed our senior project and other plans for our senior year.

Kayak Trip
After hearing about the current senior River Stewards' epic kayak trip last summer from the headwaters, we discussed the possibility of doing a similar length trip before school starts next fall. We are leaning towards doing a five day recreational trip starting Thursday August 19th, after new stewards orientation. Those of us who will be in Dayton over the summer will work further on planning the trip and organizing materials.

Senior Project
The rest of our meeting involved discussing options for our senior project. We would ultimately like to design leadership curriculum involving a low ropes/challenge course. We think that such a project would be beneficial to the University and the community by fostering outdoor leadership education and providing a way for the community to connect with the river.

It was decided that a good first step towards assessing the feasibility and implementation of such a project would be to visit a site which already has a ropes/challenge course similar to the one we wish to deign. Summit Vision in Columbus was discussed as a possible location to visit because it is very close. A possible time to visit would be the Monday before orientation (Aug 16th). The website is below along with a description of the Walnut Bluffs, the facility that looked the most interesting to us. It is about 1hr 45 mins away. Contact will be made in the coming months to try to set up a tour and to foster a beneficial relationship with Summit Vision.

"The Walnut Bluffs property is owned by The Columbus Recreation & Parks department and is located at 8111 Schott Road in Westerville, Ohio--right next to the Hoover Reservoir. Walnut Bluffs is a beautiful, wooded area with waterfront access. Summit Vision has approximately 40 fixed initiatives on site along with two 23 element ropes courses and a climbing tower/high element area that can accommodate up to 110 participants at a time. Each ropes course can accommodate up to 30 participants at a time. Summit Vision has the capacity to handle up to 8 initiatives groups at a time on a daily basis."

Another suggestion: My mother used to work for Elam Environmental Center (which is affiliated with Girl Scouts of Ohio's Heartland). They have a challenge course with at least 10 elements that looks about the same size as the one we are looking to design. They do leadership programs there for students. It's only about an hour away and I think it would be a chance to see a course that was built in-house and is run by a center that deals primarily in outdoor education. I will try and find out more information about it and give an update.

-Liz Marsh

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Rainy Spring for the Northern Midwest

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Part Two, River Documentary

This is the newest part of the River to Riviere documentary series. I hope that you enjoy. For the most pleasurable experience, use the 480p setting, not the 320p resolution. Maybe you all can watch it in class.


I miss you all.

I hope the senior project planning is going well.

Also, are the seniors-to-be, or some of them, going to do a five day paddle in August?



Monday, March 15, 2010

Holy Angels Fieldtrip

We have reached the conclusion of our six weeks at Holy Angels. Last Thursday, March 11th the group spent the day at Miami Conservancy District, Five Rivers Outdoors, and RiverScape. The groups experienced each location and presented their cumulative projects from the five weeks of lessons. Although it rained, there were no complaints after learning all about water's importance and presence in our area. The field trip was a great way to conclude the in-class lessons and get the students on the river and exposed to the community.

Thank you to the community partners for taking the time to meet with the students!

This project with Holy Angels has allowed the Stewards and Rivers Institute to reach out and fulfill our mission. Thanks to all who participated and to Tracey Horan for all her work on developing the curriculum. Without Tracey, the project would not have existed.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Rivers Institute at the Adventure Summit

The Adventure Summit ( was great! It succeeded in making the case for Dayton as the Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest. Around 6,000 people attended and our River Stewards orientation video played nearly that many times. Maggie, Leslie, and I enjoyed exploring the many exhibits, vendors, programs, and speakers. The event's exciting atmosphere inspired quite the outdoor to-do list including kayaking, hiking, backpacking, camping, and challenge courses. Many thanks to Five Rivers MetroParks for inviting us and hosting the event to perfection! 2011 will launch their Adventure Speaker Series and the Adventure Summit returns in 2012. Don't miss it! Check out the pictures below.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Announcing the 3rd Annual River Summit!

Please save the date for the 3rd Annual River Summit on Thursday April 15th, starting at 8:30am, in the College Park Center.

Check out the River Summit website for more information. Further details and invitations coming soon.....

Recruiting Future River Stewards!

The Rivers Institute and River Stewards are in the final stretch of recruiting new Stews or baby Stews, as they have recently been called. The application deadline is Friday the 12th....please direct interested first-year students to our website, blog and video:

Thanks for everyone's help in spreading the word!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Holy Angels Week 5

The River Stewards were in the classroom once again on Tuesday, February 23rd. This week's lesson was macro-invertebrates and hypoxia. Students discovered and identified macro-invertebrates found in our region. All of the samples were intolerant of pollution and helped students arrive to the conclusion of our river's healthy state. A majority of the students believed our rivers were not very healthy and were highly polluted, prior to the lesson. The student's also learned about hypoxia and their impact on water quality on a much larger scale.

Major thanks to Maggie, she did a wonderful job presenting the material!

This Thursday we will spend our last session with the students on a filed trip to Miami Conservancy District, Five Rivers MetroParks, and RiverScape. The students will present projects at MCD and tour the other locations. It should tie together the five weeks of lessons nicely, with the help of our wonderful partners!

Look for an up-date soon!

Friday, March 5, 2010

1st Place in the Ohio Environmental Justice Video Contest

Congratulations to the following students for their hard work and dedication to this statewide video contest: Paul Azzi, Jennifer Biette, McLean Johnson, Jessica Hanley and Kierstan Manifold!

Click here to see the video on youtube.

Click here for further details about the contest and the Center for Health, Environment and Justice's

Click here for the Dayton Daily News article.