Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Calvary Cemetery and Hills and Dales Field Trip

On June 29, Brother Don Geiger, Maggie Varga, Kristen Crum, and I went to Calvary Cemetery and Hills and Dales Metro park to test out one of the possible field trips for the upcoming RLC class. We drove to Calvary Cemetery first to look at examples of the land use in Dayton and how some of the eskers (sand/gravel) from the glaciers are being used.

We also looked over one of the floodplains and what was built on it, as well as the other side of the valley, which is a landfill. One of the pictures shows this. Where we were standing was on a prairie. Brother Geiger was able to pick out rare plants on the prairie side. The contrast from where we were standing to what we overlooked was quite different to think about.

Then we went to Hills and Dales Metro Park and went to the Patterson Monument, which gave us a great view of the NCR golf course. That would be a good spot to have a mini course if we were to have one out there. It turned out to be a very productive field trip!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Riverscape Ribbon Cutting

On June 28 Five Rivers MetroParks cut the ribbon for the Phase III expansion of Riverscape. The River Steward interns were present on the water, while Leslie mingled under the new tent at the pavilion. The Riverscape expansion includes a tented pavilion, a bike hub complete with bike storage and showers, and beautiful landscaping. This addition to the Great Miami River will continue to show people what an asset we truly have in the river and the potential that it has for not only Dayton, but the entire Great Miami Corridor. As Mayor Leitzell said "This is living proof that Dayton isn’t dead."

Friday, June 25, 2010

Greetings from the Southwest! :)

Hola fellow Stewards!

As I settle in to my new home in Anthony, New Mexico, this week, I've been learning about the area and discovered something I just had to share with my beautiful Stew buddies! On the ride from the airport to the house, we crossed over a river, and I asked the Sister driving what river it was. It turns out the Rio Grande is only a mile or two from my house, and there is a bike path that goes along it! Here I am in the desert, and I've got a little piece of Dayton, OH right down the street! And there are little "mini-rivers" (irrigation canals) all around our house, since it's surrounded by farmland. It seems no matter where I am, "a river runs through it!" Just thought I would share my excitement about waterways with the ones who would understand it most! It's so great to check out this blog and see all the "waves" the lovely Stews continue to make in Dayton. Keep up the great work, friends!

River Love,

Paddle with the Blue Sky Artists

Last Friday the Rivers Institute enjoyed exposing the Blue Sky Project artsist to Dayton and its rivers. Through a brief introduction of our local water resources, the artists had a better understanding of where they were when we paddled down the Mad River and talked about the local natural wildlife and Dayton's flood history and protection. The group had a great time bonding and building community as they settle into their summer residency at ArtSteet to work on the project.

For more information about the Blue Sky Project check out the links below:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

River Leadership Curriculum Update

Great progress has been made this summer with the River Leadership Curriculum Development!

At the beginning of the summer, a workshop was held in the LTC. This gave the members of the management teams a chance to get to know each other and the curriculum they were about to start working on. After the workshop, the management team members had the chance to paddle the Great Miami River.
Since then, the management teams of each module completed worksheets that have been a guide to plan class sessions. Each team planned four class sessions. They also had an option to plan a Saturday session for their module. Now, the Leadership Team and the interns are working together to integrate the class sessions into one course. Then, the interns will begin to book the speakers and field trips for the modules as well as assemble the binders that will be given to each student.

In addition, every Wednesday the Leadership Team and the interns host a lunch. The lunch is at noon in Zehler Hall 104. It is a chance for anyone to be caught up on the progress of the development as well as to discuss a selected topic each week. For example, last week, each intern gave an update on their module development. Kristen gave a demonstration on how the database that she has been working on will be stored and shared. Those at the lunch were able to give feedback on how the database will work.
Below are videos from the Wednesday lunch on June 16th.

Here is an update from Bethany about River Cities:

Here is an update from Don about the curriculum:

If you are interested in being part of the curriculum development, stop by the lunches to catch up on what is happening and provide input!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Fitz Center Paddle

On Thursday June 10th, the Rivers Institute took the Fitz Center on the river. It was a great way to spend time with one another out of the office. Maggie and the River Stewards are perfecting our river tours this summer while building their leadership and kayaking skills. Here are my favorite pictures from the trip.


and, last but not least, a picture of Andy as he floats on to the next chapter of his life and wishes!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Great Miami Watershed Network

On June 3 the four River Leadership Curriculum interns attended the Great Miami Watershed Network meeting at Cox Arboretum. We were introduced to the 208 Water Quality Plan and participated in discussions about local concerns that ought to be addressed in the 208 Plan. Not only were we able to meet and network with groups interested in issues involving the Lower Great Miami, but representatives were also there who held interests in the Upper Great Miami, the Little Miami, and the Stillwater.
It was also my first (but certainly not last!) visit to Cox Arboretum. Here is one snapshot Kelly grabbed of the gorgeous building the meeting took place in. If you haven't visited Cox Arboretum, I strongly recommend it, especially with the great weather we have had in Dayton recently!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Triathlon on the Little Miami

This past weekend I successfully completed my first triathlon! It was a fantastic experience full of physical obstacles and mental obstacles to propel myself forward in the 3+ hrs it took to complete the race. What was unique about this triathlon was that it was a 6.1 mile canoe (rather than swim) down the Little Miami River followed by 5.5 mile run, and then an 18.0 mile bike. All in all, I raced for about 30 miles.
It was great to get to experience a paddle on the Little Miami, and I got to experience first hand the river as my partner and I capsized our canoe during the race. The current was moving so fast and he was a relatively new paddler so we ended up tipping as we rounded a bend. All in all, the canoe leg of the race was the most enjoyable of the three events. It felt as if I was at home on the water. It is amazing that while competitively paddling full force ahead that one can find an inner peace.
I encourage everyone to get out and paddle a new river this summer. It is fun and interesting to see terrain you've never seen before, and it really can bring a sense of inner peace. And if you are feeling ambitious, you are welcome to try out Morgan's Little Miami Triathlon this October!

World Record Setting!

Last Saturday I traveled to my hometown, Pittsburgh, to participate in events that were part of the UN World Environment Day 2010.

On Thursday I attended the Water Matters! Global Water Conference. It was a great conference and I learned even more about issues surrounding water and our use of it. One of my interests, social justice, was addressed a lot.

On Saturday (World Environment Day), I attempted to set the world record for the number of kayaks and canoes rafted together on a river with thousands of my closet friends.

The last record was held by a city in New York with a little over 1,000 boats. The organizers of the Pittsburgh event think there were around 2,000 boats on the Allegheny River on Saturday. The organizers took photos of the flotilla. Next, they will submit the photos to the Guinness Book of World Records and it will be confirmed that we are the new record holders.

It was amazing to see that many people on the river enjoying themselves. Check out the news segment below to see a cool shot of the flotilla.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Intern Paddle & Kayak Training

Last Friday, Maggie and I took the interns out on the Mad River to continue developing their kayaking skils. We were able to share what we learned in our ACA Kayak Instructor and Swiftwater Rescue trainings so they can have stronger leadership and safety roles on our future paddles. The water levels were high so it provided a great opportunity to challenge their abilities while having fun. Here are a couple pictures from the trip.....

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A River Steward abroad

Hello Stews! I'm currently studying abroad in Europe (the SBA trip from Budapest to Angers), and I thought I'd share two stories that seem Steward field trip worthy.

A few days ago, our group stayed in Germany in Rothenburg ob der Tauber (Rothenburg on the Tauber river). We stayed in a hotel built from a restored flour mill, and the owner showed us around the inside of it!

The mill itself was built sometime in the 1500's or 1600's. Over time, it fell into disrepair, but it was restored in the 1900's with new assembly-line parts. Recently, the owner updated the mill yet again, and now instead of grinding flour the mill creates hydroelectric power to help support the hotel.

Today, I went down into the Paris sewers. They are some of the If you straightened out the Paris sewer system, it would reach from Paris to Istanbul.

Before the sewers, the people of Paris in the middle ages just used the Seine, and over time different developments to the sewers were made. Napoleon, for instance, ordered a huge addition to the construction of the sewers. A cholera outbreak afterwards, though, lead to the massive redesign in 1850 by Eugène Belgrand.

If anyone would like to know more about either of these adventures, just let me know!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Summer Faculty & Staff Appreciation Paddles

This summer the Rivers Institute is offering a series of Faculty & Staff Appreciation paddles, in the effort to acknowledge all the hard work that goes into making the academic year a success.
So far, we have taken out the RecPlex Staff and Campus Ministry. Both groups enjoyed the chance to spend time with their colleagues "out of the office" while experiencing the power of Dayton as a River City.

The summer paddles also help serve the vision and mission of the Rivers Institute, especially the aspect focusing on bringing UD to the river.
If you or your department are interested in participating in a Faculty & Staff Appreciation Paddle this summer, contact the Rivers Institute.