MG Conf 2007 September 16, 2007
The Ohio State Master Gardener Convention in Columbus was a phenomenal success. And one of my favorite, and totally unexpected pleasures was a tour of the Olentangy River Wetland Research Park. A couple of fellow birders and OOS members, lead by the capable Carolyn May set up an early morning birding event at this facility.
A special bonus was tour by the Assistant Director, Dr. Li Zhang. Li explained the processes and development of this very important OSU research program. Wetlands are often called the "kidneys" of our land, and act as a filtration system that can actually remove toxins, nitrogen and harmful phosphorus from our waterways.
This low lying area, was probably once a natural wetland for the Olentangy, but now it is being used as an actual filtration system, and sampling has indicated it has filtered up 40% of the bad stuff out of the Olentangy. This technology could be a huge leap towards improving the "Dead Zone" in the Gulf created by the fertilizers that taint the waters of the Mississippi. Please visit their Website at www.swamp.osu.edu.
The MG Key-note speaker, Dr. Lonnie Thompson is an OSU expert on glacial research and presented fascinating data on global warming. Gardeners, Auduboners and all enthusiasts for the environment need to start asking how we can be a part of the solution instead of part of the problem on both of these critical issues. It is not enough just to enjoy the environment, let's help protect it too.