It’s time to go down to the Ottawa River and recognize the waterway that runs through Main Campus.
“It’s important to spotlight the continuing work of the President’s Commission on the River and the current restoration project taking place on the Ottawa River,” said Dr. Patrick Lawrence, UT professor and chair of the Department of Geography and Planning, and chair of the commission. “These improvements will enhance the beauty, environment, access, enjoyment and educational opportunities for a natural river that we are lucky to have on Main Campus.”
He added, “The Ottawa River in our community and here at UT has its issues and challenges, but there is also a lot of potential if we can strive to improve the aquatic and forest habitat along the 3,700 feet through Main Campus.”
The President’s Commission on the River has organized five events:
• Wednesday through Saturday, Sept. 12-15 — A video and poster displays focusing on the river and proposed restoration project will be available for viewing in Carlson Library.
• Wednesday, Sept. 12 — Tour the cut bank project site, located south of the Law Center. Meet in the parking area by the Law Center at noon to see why trees were cleared and old construction fill removed over the summer to create the cut bank that will allow for more water storage during potential higher river levels. “Removing these trees was a necessity, not a choice,” Lawrence said. “We didn’t anticipate this when the project started, but it’s a requirement for us to proceed with planned in-stream habitat restoration in 2013.”
• Thursday, Sept. 13 — River scavenger hunt at noon. Get the list of what you’re looking for on the bridge behind Carlson Library for a chance to win gift cards.
• Friday, Sept. 14 — Announcement of winners of the Ottawa River Photography Contest at noon in the Student River Plaza, located between Carlson Library and the Student Union.
• Saturday, Sept. 15 — Clean Your Streams. Take a couple hours to be part of this community-wide event and help clean the banks of the Ottawa River on Main Campus. Sign-in at the Law Center Patio will begin at 8 a.m. Last year, more than 200 volunteers picked up some 1,500 pounds of trash — including spark plugs and a shopping cart — along the waterway on Main Campus.
“UT is a partner for the 16th annual Clean Your Streams,” Lawrence said. “This is a great opportunity for all UT community members, especially students, to be involved with our environmental efforts, including for the Ottawa River, and participate in this regional event.”
For more information or to register, go to partnersforcleanstreams.org/CYS.html.
To learn more about Celebrate Our River Week, contact Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419.530.4128.