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!
Saturday morning, Pete and I headed down to the underpass in Glen Echo, the one that will turn into the beautiful bird mural. The purpose of our trip was to help prime the bridge for the painting that Clint Davidson, the artist, would hopefully begin today. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what kind of a turnout there would be and got a little worried as we approached, not hearing any voices. Well, I needn’t have worried (the bridge apparently acts like a huge sound absorber!) as once we got closer, there were plenty of people already working. There was food donated from great businesses in Clintonville, including Mozart’s Cafe, Pattycake Bakery, Clintonville Community Market, and Crimson Cup Coffee (thanks, everyone!). Kids in the neighbors had a lemonade stand with all the proceeds going to help pay for the mural. It really made me glad to see so many people coming together to do something so wonderful. We also had a lot of people just walking through the park stop by and ask us what we were doing.
The job went much faster than I ever thought possible. But I must admit, the painting was quite different from any I’ve ever done — and not the sort my very neat and clean painter mom would condone! There were no drop cloths, no painter’s tape, no worries about drips and runs. It all went very well with the exception of a few millipedes who were hiding in the crevices that managed to get some paint on them. Pete, of course, rescued them all. We even had several kids helping out, one who was rather creative in his technique for keeping the paint off of his fingers! The worst part was trying to paint in the parts that were filled with dirt; we just did our best!
In the end, we had a lovely blank canvas for Clint to begin drawing in the sketches of the various resident or migratory birds. I can’t thank you all enough for the help and support you’ve shown to make this mural happen! And I can’t wait to post updates on how the mural is progressing. I know it will be beautiful to see.
Until next time!
Chris O’Leary just sent me some video that he took in Glen Echo during the record-breaking rainfall we had a few weeks ago. After looking at this, the pictures I posted a few days ago make a little more sense in how the debris got so high on the vegetation. It’s amazing the amount of water that came through that day. This run-off is a problem that needs to be addressed, something that will take all of us working together to solve.
Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SehVks2ojk
Until next time!
One of our Glen Echo neighbors, Chris O’Leary, reported that a pair of barred owls have been permanent residents in the ravine for the past three or four years. I’ve not had the privilege of seeing or hearing these amazing birds, although our neighbor, John, indicated that he has heard them from his backyard. I did listen a few times for them, but no luck. However, here’s what information I have about the owls, courtesy of Chris:
- They roost in the large pines in the neighborhoods surrounding the ravine by day.
- The best chance to see them during the day is when the crows find them and chase them through the neighborhood.
- Occasionally the owls will call to one another in the middle of the afternoon.
- They have been seen flying over the bridges at Indianola and Arcadia at dusk. (This isn’t good, as being hit by a car is the biggest threat to urban owls.)
- The owls leave the pine trees at dusk and can be seen heading towards the ravine to hunt.
- One evening Chris watched the male perched over his neighbor’s pond watching the koi. (Which reminds me of the blue heron that we had in our backyard that ate a few of the goldfish in our pond.)
- The female has not been seen since December, which may mean she’s nesting in a tree cavity. Wouldn’t that be wonderful to see the little ones!
- Their call has been described as sounding like “who cooks for you, who cooks for youuuuu”. Sometimes their call is an otherworldly cackle. You can listen at the birdjam website http://www.birdjam.com/birdsong.php?id=47
Chris also stated that screech owls nested in the ravine for years, but with the recent arrival of the barred owls, the screech owls have disappeared. One evening in May, neighbors on Cliffside Drive were able to watch screech owlets (see the photo to the left) practicing their flying skills, landing awkwardly on the stone fence and in low tree branches. You can listen the screech owl call here. They are quite different sounding from the barred owls. I don’t hear a “screech,” so if anyone can tell me why they are called screech owls, I’d love to know.
Thanks to David Brown for the wonderful photos of the Glen Echo owls.
Until next time!