Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What it is so great about being a River Steward? By Zack Valigosky

This past Friday, in our mini course, we watched Blue Gold: World Waters. This was a very good documentary about the depletion of the world's water resources. Anyone could watch this documentary on their own, and think to themselves, "Wow! This is a real issue that I need to address!" But that one person may find difficulty in having a noticeable effect in their community. What if there was a group of 15 to 17 people who had also watched this documentary and had similar opinions to yours on how to address this issue? That group is River Stewards and through this group, my cohort is able to tackle any issue head-on. If we wanted to address the overuse of water on our campus, we can. Would that single person who watched the documentary be able to do this? Maybe, but I could imagine it would be challenging. The same goes for other issues too. If my cohort wanted to address the issue of impermeable surfaces on campus, we can. If we wanted to address the issue of renewable energy sources on campus we can. Before River Stewards I could not even dream about the possibilities that the Rivers Institute can offer to students who want to address issues of sustainability, energy, environment, and stewardship. I am very excited to see what we can accomplish with the opportunity we have been given.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Tech Town and Litehouse

Hello, all!
Friday night the junior cohort went on an excursion to tour Tech Town and a Litehouse spec home! I think I can speak on behalf of my entire cohort in saying that we all thought both places were AWESOME!

We visited Tech Town first, and we were all completely inspired by the work that is being done for the city of Dayton. First off, all of their buildings are extremely environmentally friendly; they have a green roof on one of the buildings, rain gardens, building materials made from recycled products, etc. They are also doing fantastic things for the city of Dayton! I have very limited business knowledge, but from what I gathered, they are basically helping businesses with a focus on technology get started, and then hopefully growing them into their own seperate business that functions as part of the Tech Town "network."

After Tech Town, we ventured over to tour a Litehouse spec home! I was so impressed with Litehouse because they have done an incredible job offering people an environmentally sound alternative to housing. Each unit is designed using natural light, recycled products, environmentally friendly materials, and energy efficient utilities and appliances. Behind the Litehouse units, there is a community garden that is for all those in the surrounding houses to use, as well. The best aspect of the unit is the terrace on top! The unit that we saw had a beautiful view of the city and Riverscape! I was completely in love with the unit, and I highly recommend you take a tour if you ever get the chance.

Seeing both Tech Town and the Litehouse unit was a very optimistic experience. It was great to see two very successful programs working toward a similar mission as the River Stewards, and hopefully we will see more success stories such as these in the future!

Have a great week!
Amy Price