Friends of the Scioto River

FOSR Events Gallery

Here's a quick look at some past FOSR events. We look forward to organizing more of these.

Our area has many organizations and individuals who are looking for volunteer opportunities, and a group like FOSR can act as a talent agency, matching interested volunteers with work that needs to be done.

Removing invasive plants makes a lasting difference in our parks, helping the natural diversity of plant life to grow back. However, removing trash and litter is a never-ending task because there will always be more, either dropped or washed in..
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The community benefits from advocacy groups. The Friends of the Scioto River directs its efforts toward the protection and enjoyment of the Scioto watershed. It is one of many similar watershed advocacy groups doing similar work in central Ohio.

"Protection" of a watershed can include anything from simple cleanups, to providing input on proposed development, to advising property owners on good water management.

"Enjoyment" of the watershed is the public's option; people migrate to green corridors for a taste of the outdoors, even in the heart of the city.  Watershed groups like FOSR promote public access to these corridors as a community resource.  They work with government agencies and civic groups to maintain and develop parks and bikeways, and stage events to bring people to the streamside.

The existence of a group provides a connection among several different centers of interest.

Our community has many people and organizations interested and willing to act on behalf of the rivers and streams.  This is potential energy, waiting to be tapped.  In the case of a watershed group like FOSR, we can connect these three major groups:

 - Individuals who are willing to volunteer
 - Organizations who are looking for ways to serve their communities
 - Our public parks, who need more work than our governments can afford to spend on them

The existence of a group provides a focal point where all these interests can converge, and result in action.  For example, FOSR has worked with BMW Financial Services, headquartered in Dublin and Hilliard, which has provided employees who gain Community Involvement credit for participating in community events. The company lists "involvement in the community" in its values, and seeks such opportunities to contribute to the community.

FOSR acts as a liaison between the company, Columbus Recreation and Parks, and Watershed Management in the Division of Water, within the Department of Public utilities, to apply this workforce to the activities that those agencies best see fit.  Since 2005, this has resulted in the removal of huge amounts of invasive plants, and trash, from Griggs Reservoir. Other organizations work with us in a similar manner.

The group can serve as a voice expressing the concerns of citizens.

Our governments have made provisions to accept public input on proposed construction and development.  As the agencies say, the approval process is intended to approve, not prevent, development.  An advocacy group can combine the voices of many, into a single statement of concern representing a large part of the community.

Regulatory agencies responsible for approving development try to maintain a balance between facilitating profitable business enterprise, and protecting public interest and natural resources.  When developers propose new projects, they must provide more than one alternative development plan.  They generally prefer the most profitable alternative, but they may not be allowed to pursue it if there is sufficient public interest in development that is more friendly to the environment and the community.

The group can promote public appreciation of the watershed.

The two primary goals of the FOSR are to protect the river, and promote public appreciation of it.  The first goal can be met in many very visible ways, but the second is no less important.  When a community has a resource like the Scioto in Columbus, it's up to the people to realize and appreciate what they have.  Many do actively pursue their interests, such as boating, or jogging, or bird-watching, or biking the greenway trails, but many more could be enjoying this feature of our area.

Local governments are working to create and expand the parks, and watershed groups can combine with these efforts to inform the public of recreational opportunities at their doorstep.  When this is combined with other factors like having less trash and overgrowth, and the readiness of public and private groups to help the parks and streams, then the public appreciation and use of the parks and watersheds is enhanced.  This in turn becomes a selling point for the entire community.

The group can create and provide educational materials.

Schools are becoming increasingly interested in teaching ecological appreciation to students, and a watershed group can help these efforts through internships and mentoring. FOSR can comb-bind materials.