The University of Toledo President’s Commission on the River recently completed a five-year restoration project for the Ottawa River on Main Campus, just in time for this year’s Celebrate Our River Week.After installing in-stream habitat structures in August 2013, this summer volunteers planted an additional 300 native plants along the riverbanks to bring the project total plantings to more than 1,500. Six new information signs have been installed along the banks to describe various natural aspects of the river and to showcase details of the restoration work.
The project was funded by grants from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with the plants and additional support provided by Partners for Clean Streams Inc. via funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.
Dr. Cyndee Gruden, UT associate professor of civil engineering, and her graduate students are constructing demonstration projects for storm-water treatment at two parking lot sites adjacent to the river on Main Campus. This work is funded by grants from the Ohio EPA.
Events for Celebrate Our River week are:
• Wednesday through Friday, Sept. 17-19 — Video and poster displays will be in Carlson Library; these will include pieces by artist Judith Greavu.
• Wednesday, Sept. 17, at noon — The UT Campus Beautification Committee will dedicate a sculpture, “Current Forces” by Judith Greavu. The work is located south of Bowman-Oddy Laboratories and Wolfe Hall.
• Thursday, Sept. 18, at noon — Meet in the parking lot by the College of Law to participate in a walking tour of the river restoration project.
• Friday, Sept. 19, at noon — Winners of the third annual Student River Photography contest will be announced at the Student River Plaza.
• Saturday, Sept. 21, at 8 a.m. — Clean Your Streams 2014 sponsored by Partners for Clean Streams Inc. Help pick up the banks of local waterways, including the Ottawa River on Main Campus.
The commission is working on other initiatives, including the creation of an online river tour brochure for visitors, faculty, staff and students. Planning also is under way for a walking path along the river.
For more information about the river restoration project and Celebrate Our River Week, contact Dr. Patrick Lawrence, UT professor and chair of geography and planning, and chair of the President’s Commission on the River, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419.530.4128.