This past Monday, Pete and I, along with two dear friends, went to see “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” We had seen the first movie at Pete’s sister’s house. He liked it enough to want to see the rest of the movies when they came out. It was a really good movie (in my opinion), well-acted and making good use of the best parts of the book. One of the things that these movies are noted for are the elaborate costumes that the characters wear – they are over-the-top colorful. Effie Trinket is one such character, always dressing in amazing styles with futuristic hair and make-up. (Yes, this eventually will turn into something that fits in with our Arboretum!) She came out in one scene wearing this:
When I first saw it, I thought, “What a remarkable dress!” But then as I looked at more, it made me sad because of the plight of the monarchs.
Pete had sent me a link to an article in the The New York Times about monarch butterflies and bees and other insects that are losing their habitats. It also spoke to the importance of increasing the number of native plants and trees, how that would help these provide these insects with food and shelter. It was so sad to only see two monarch this summer.
Our yard is full of native plants, and Pete is always coming to me with some new insect that he’s found, one that he never expected to see in our backyard. The native plants and trees that we have planted in the Arboretum are making a difference. And I’m very thankful for that.
And speaking of being thankful, with tomorrow being Thanksgiving, I’d like to say that I am thankful for all of my friends and family, and for all the supporters and volunteers of this little Arboretum we’ve all worked so hard to make happen. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Until next time!
We here at LOUA are still abuzz about all the support we’ve received for our vision of what could happen with the White Castle property. Many other organizations support that same vision, and a new coalition is forming to shepherd this project to completion. If the coalition ends up getting everything on its wish list, eventually, the buried portions of the ravine would be daylighted, with a bridge over Glen Echo at High Street. There would be small park where the White Castle used to stand, creating a beautiful gateway to Clintonville to the north and the University District to the south. And add to that, a walking trail from Glen Echo Park all the way to the Olentangy River.
(Personally, here’s what I would like to see there, once again…this Looping-The-Loop ride was at the Olentangy Park that used to be on the spot.)
All of this might seem a tad ambitious, but everything that we envision has already been proposed in both the Clintonville Neighborhood Plan and the Columbus Comprehensive Plan. The Clintonville Neighborhood Plan specifically states:
- Recreation and Parks Department should develop a walking path along Glen Echo Ravine from Glen Echo Park to the Olentangy River. Path should be developed in a way to minimize its impact on the natural setting. A worn path already exists. Formalizing the path would help to minimize the impact on the surrounding ravine.
- Glen Echo Ravine at High Street should be considered for “daylighting” as part of the redevelopment of the adjoining area where economically feasible. “Daylighting” is a measure to restore the ravine to its natural state.
The Columbus Comprehensive Plan states:
- It is the recommendation of the Columbus Comprehensive Plan that ravines be fully integrated into the city’s greenway system. The Columbus Comprehensive Plan recommends that the city develop a system of greenways incorporating the area’s major waterways and tributaries. Because the major waterways of Columbus run north and south, ravines provide important east-west connections between and among larger greenways. Some ravines, such as Walhalla and Overbrook, already function well as greenways. They have public access and some parkland. Other ravines are totally under private control.
- The city should pursue ownership or control of the most significant portions of the city’s ravines. This can be accomplished by purchase or acquisition of easements or property rights. Parkland within the ravines should be maintained in a predominantly natural state. Bikeways and walking paths should be constructed through the ravines and public access points should be provided where possible.
Even the Ohio State Framework plans mentions that the “restored stream tributaries and associated open space elements are critical contributors to the green reserve.”
If you inclined to read either the Clintonville Neighborhood Plan or the Columbus Comprehensive Plan (or both!), they are located to the right under “Blogroll”; you might have to scroll down a little bit to find them.
I looked high and low on the Internet for a picture of the bridge that used to be at the intersection of High and Arcadia, and for once, the Internet failed me. But I can imagine how it would look – native plants, towering trees, people meeting there to walk to the river. A showcase that in the long run will benefit the environment as well as community members and businesses in our wonderful part of the world that is known as Clintonville.
Until next time!
And the sky is grey.
I went for walk
On a winter’s day.
And here’s what I saw – leaves that were every color BUT brown.
What is amazing to me is to see the smaller trees that we just planted this fall putting out so much color on the leaves that they have. Just imagine how it will be next fall. And this spring, all of the dogwood and red bud trees in bloom will make Clintonville the place to walk.
Until next time!
Rendition of High St. over Glen Echo Ravine looking south-east towards the Portal Park and Arcadia Ave. intersection. The former White Castle site is “day lighted” exposing the Ravine and Run.
Wow. That’s all I can say because there are no words. LOUA asked for a little help in protecting our Glen Echo Ravine, and we got a landslide of emails, comments, shares and likes. I knew how much I loved our ravines that are such a large part of our neighborhood. And I thought I knew how much all of you loved our amazing ravines. Boy, was I ever wrong – I wasn’t even close!
My little post (written by Pete) reached over 1,500 people. That was your work, your passion, your caring. At the commission meeting tonight, the vote was 0 to 4 against the car wash. And those of you that contacted your area commissioner certainly were instrumental in that decision.
No words – we have no words but thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
To help us oppose the zoning request discussed in the previous blog post please contact your City Council Member as soon as possible indicating your opposition to the zoning change for 2725 North High St., the old White Castle location built on Glen Echo Ravine and Run.
The rezoning application is being heard by both the Clintonville Area Commission and the University Area Commission as the property in question crosses the boundary between the districts – it is literally on top of the Ravine and Run. The CAC and UAC will send their recommendation to the Development Commission which makes a final recommendation to City Council Members who will decide on the request for a zoning change.
If you are taking time to write to the Clintonville commissioners, copy all the councilmembers too; its never to soon to write them.
Contact your council member – indeed all of them – through their aids:
Andrew J. Ginther
Legislative Aide: Kenneth Paul
Email: email@example.com (614) 645-2931
A. Troy Miller
Legislative Aide: Jeanette Hawkins
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (614) 645-2013
Hearcel F. Craig
Legislative Aide: Sherry Martin
Email: email@example.com (614) 645-8538
Zachary M. Klein
Legislative Aide: Gretchen James
mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (614) 645-5346
Michelle M. Mills
Interm Legislative Aide: Annie Marsico
Email: email@example.com (614) 645-5344
Eileen Y. Paley
Legislative Aide: Nancy Sully
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (614) 645-2010
Priscilla R. Tyson
Legislative Aide: Carl Williams
Email: email@example.com (614) 645-2933
A primary reason for the existence of LOUA and its volunteer efforts is the proximity of two forested ravines. These persistent geological features were formed thousands of years ago and are both beautiful and functional and home to many species of plants and animals. As of last evening, one of these areas, Glen Echo Ravine faces a new threat. The Clintonville Area Commission Zoning and Variance committee approved an application by the Goo Goo Car Wash company to occupy the parcel of land owned by the White Castle Corporation, located at the intersection of Arcadia and High Street at the entrance to Clintonville.
This lot is currently free of any structures and sits on a commercial strip of landfill that once was a part of Glen Echo Ravine. The parcel is currently commercially zoned (C-4), but not zoned for a business such as a car wash. Members of our steering committee are opposed to a car wash occupying this site for a number of reasons. First of all, this C-5 business runs counter to the Clintonville Neighborhood Plan, which explicitly calls for preservation and restoration of the ravines. Too many impervious surfaces currently abut Glen Echo Ravine, and a car wash with lots of impervious pavement will continue to contribute large amounts of storm water runoff at a critical point of Glen Echo Ravine. A car wash would be especially harmful, as the runoff would likely contains hydrocarbons (known carcinogens) and other forms of pollution.
This is in direct contrast to the current plans of The City of Columbus to reduce storm water runoff and pollutants by increasing green space and infiltration. LOUA has another vision for this property sitting atop Glen Echo. We would someday like to see Glen Echo Ravine a prominent feature on High Street, as it once was when a simple bridge ran over it. This would ultimately involve removing the landfill in order to restore the stream currently routed underground through a culvert. Once the channel is cleared of debris, the slopes could be planted with native trees.
We have begun the process of seeking grant funding and private donations in order to accomplish these tasks. The completed project is intended to attract visitors and beautify the primary commercial corridor in Clintonville. This park will be also be an access point for a planned walking trail that would connect Glen Echo Park with the bike trail on the Olentangy River which is called for in the Neighborhood Plan for Clintonville. Such a trail would give our children a place to explore, get exercise, and learn about nature. A restored, uninterrupted, and forested corridor would also facilitate the movement of wildlife from the riverine forests bordering the Olentangy River to Glen Echo Park.
The Clintonville Area Commission is meeting on Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 7pm in the Whetstone Library meeting room. If you are opposed to the car wash, please contact your Clintonville Area commissioner and let them know your feelings before then.
Contact information for area commissioners can be obtained at the following link: http://www.clintonvilleareacommission.org/index.php/meet-our-commissioners.html