Free birdfeeders for classroomsSeptember 4, 2014
Folk “concert-conversation” with Joanie CalemNovember 7, 2014
Lisa Daris grew up in the aftermath of the infamous burning of the Cuyahoga River and spent her childhood summers exploring the banks of this river in Kent, Ohio. The river’s history of catching fire, due to the industrial debris floating in it, launched Cleveland into poster-child status for what urban environmental neglect and abuse looked like in the 1970s. But the year she was born, an important change happened. Cleveland voters overwhelmingly passed a $100 million bond initiative aimed at cleaning up the river. No matter that the very next year, the river caught on fire again; the spark of urban environmentalism was lit and it eventually took hold on a federal level with the passing of the Clean Water Act in 1972.
Within the last 40 years, urban rivers have undergone a lot of positive changes and the time has come to finally undo the infrastructure mistakes of the past by removing low-head dams and restoring our rivers to become rivers again, instead of dammed up sediment pools, said Lisa in response to what inspired her to launch a livery on the urban section of the Olentangy in Columbus, Ohio. My goal is to connect people, especially young people, to our waterways and gain continuing support for maximizing the health of Ohio’s most precious resources, she added. My generation was one of the last ones whose childhood playgrounds were outdoors rather than in front of video games. Not only do we need to undo what’s happened to our rivers, but we need to undo what’s happened to ourselves.
Olentangy Paddle rents kayaks and canoes 7 days a week May through October along the state-designated Olentangy Scenic Water Trail. They offer discounts for children 14 and under and groups of 5 or more, and they will come to your event with a fleet of boats ready to teach kids and adults about boating safety and paddling techniques. They are a proud partner with Friends of the Lower Olentangy ‘“ FLOW, and work with Keep Columbus Beautiful for river cleanups throughout the season. Go to www.olentangypaddle.com for more information.