Tuesday, August 30, 2011

River Stewards' Senior Project a Success!

Flyer News - Bicycle rental program to pedal students around Dayton
Sara Dorn, Chief News Writer
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The University of Dayton senior River Stewards, Campus Recreation and Student Development have partnered to expand student horizons beyond campus and into the greater Dayton area with a new free bicycle rental program.

The service will allow students to rent bicycles from the RecPlex and is tentatively scheduled to begin Labor Day weekend, according to Johnny Chase, assistant director of fitness at the RecPlex.

Rentals will be available during daylight hours when the RecPlex is open and all bicycles must be returned by dusk, Chase said. Students also will be required to watch a safety video before checking out the bikes, he said.

"We would like people to get out and explore the city for themselves and discover the river and see what an asset it is," said Kristen Crum, senior River Steward and mechanical engineering major.

This year's 16 senior River Stewards are coordinating the rental program for their required class project.

The River Steward organization is designed to promote civic engagement and leadership, according to rivers.udayton.edu.

Student Development spent $9,030 at Performance Bike in Beavercreek, Ohio, on 20 Fuji seven-speed bicycles, one tandem bike, 30 helmets, 30 bike locks, a few handlebar bags and carbon dioxide cartridge pumps for the program, Chase said.

The program's future budget is contingent on its success, but Chase said he drafted a $6,500 budget that includes student labor, parts, programming, repair and renovation.

"We're still working with risk management about the bike maintenance, and an accident is always a risk too," Chase said.

The River Stewards said they have many recommendations for locations to visit throughout the area because of their frequent work in the city of Dayton.

"Our intention isn't to rent bikes to walk from class to class," said A.J. Ferguson, senior River Steward and mechanical engineering major. "A lot of students will realize Dayton is a really cool city and very different from the way they see it now."

Fellow River Stewards classmates Bethany Renner, an early childhood education major, and Alex Galluzzo, an operations management major, said there are even more Dayton-area locations they hope other students will explore.

"Second Street Market is a 10- to 15-minute bike ride and they have fresh produce, hand-crafted goods, basket makers, food vendors, domestic wine and beer, and it's a great place to get breakfast on Saturday mornings," Renner said.

Galluzzo and Renner said Miamisburg and Yellow Springs also are enjoyable nearby cities.

"Eastwood is my favorite place and you can get there in about 30 minutes on a bike," Galluzzo said. "There's a lagoon, and it's a great date place."

Gretchen Berkemeier, another senior River Steward and mechanical engineering major, said she enjoys biking through downtown's RiverScape MetroPark and Hills & Dales MetroPark in Kettering, Ohio.

"I just want people to see more of Dayton, and then maybe they'll want to stay here [after they graduate] and help revitalize Dayton," Chase said.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The 2014 River Steward Cohort; Dayton's Newest Student Leaders

River trip inspires UD students:
Kayakers will be happy to see the low dam gone from downtown Dayton.

By Steve Bennish, Staff Writer
Updated 12:35 AM Thursday, August 18, 2011

DAYTON — Sun-kissed and a little damp, dozens of University of Dayton students, faculty, staff and collaborators hauled kayaks and gear out of the Great Miami River and walked them by the Monument Avenue low dam downtown Wednesday afternoon before re-entering the water on the other side.
It was the third of four portages required during a two-day educational trip from the Taylorsville Dam to Sunwatch Indian Village. It’s an annual trip with overnight camping along the river organized by UD, but many hope it will be the last time the Monument Avenue low dam portage is necessary.
Plans are under way to demolish and remove the hazardous low dam and install two rock structures that would provide safe passage for canoes and kayaks.
The plans got a boost last month when executives with Cox Enterprises, the parent company of the Dayton Daily News, announced that the James M. Cox Foundation will provide a $1 million challenge grant toward the estimated $4 million project.
It’s a top priority for the Downtown Dayton Plan, which calls for attracting thousands of people to live in a revitalized downtown. According to the latest projections, construction would begin in early 2013.
On Wednesday night, Dayton City Commission voted 5-0 to approve a resolution asking the Miami Conservancy District to transfer all rights, title and interest in the Dayton Low Dam to Five Rivers MetroParks so the dam can be removed and the river kayak project can go forward.
“We’re happy to see this project moving along,” said Leslie King, coordinator of the University’s Rivers Institute.
She said the Institute has been “a vocal advocate for removal of the low dam since 2006, primarily for safety reasons and also to improve the ecological and economic health of the river. We want to see people back in the water, enjoying their rivers.”
Staff Writer Jeremy P. Kelley contributed to this report.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A new face for the Website

If you visit rivers.udayton.edu anytime soon you might notice a few changes! This summer we completely revamped the website with a new look and a new structure, complete with room to grow as our programming continues to grow. We think the new site fits better with the rest of our publications and represents who we are as the Rivers Institute. Below you'll see a screenshot of the new website and a screenshot of the old website for comparison. We hope you'll like the new look!