Campus Habitat Projects (Delaware Run & Chimney Swift Tower)

Delaware Run

Originally we considered funding a campus Delaware Run restoration project by latching onto a grant being undertaken by Caroline Cicerchi and the Olentangy Watershed Association (OWA). Their nine element plan is part of the process for applying for an EPA grant and requires a restoration project and monitoring. It was decided that a project on campus might be too large of a project to include initially in the grant, so the current goal is a project with high impact and less work. Caroline and OWA could still use some help on the nine element plan, so for the remaining weeks of the semester students will attempt to assist in pushing that forward.

As far as the on campus Delaware Run restoration project, we subsequently met with Laura Fay to discuss other funding opportunities. One of her ideas with serious potential was FEMA’s BRIC program (Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities). Further, considering the Delaware Run’s tendency to overflow and block traffic during flood events, creating a map showing 100 and 500 year flood maps (as well as some more recent events if possible) would make a grant application much more competitive. Another possibility is going through the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for restoration mitigation they need. They prefer to fund tangible projects with established monitoring programs (many grants would like to see established e coli monitoring efforts) and small to medium price tags (looking for high impact, low price tag) and could be considered for funding projects further upstream to assist with flooding downtown. Several other options discussed have already been researched by other students (here, and here).

Chimney Swift Tower Project

Before COVID-19 swept in, this project was moving forward and simply requiring city approval. The construction of this project can likely continue to move forward despite the quarantine due to construction services being deemed essential and the work taking place outside with just one or a small handful of people. If the city approval comes promptly and the contractor can move forward with construction, the work can likely be finished before the start of fall semester 2020.

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