Commission on the River

Archived Posts 2008 - 2006

Kristin Cavanagh cutting the ribbon
Above: Kristin Cavanagh, a UT student and former commission member, cuts the ribbon at the dedication ceremony.

Members of the President's Commission on the River, the Toledo Rain Garden Initiative, and other UT students, faculty, and staff attended the ceremony officiated by Dr. Patrick Lawrence.

Photo credits: Hans Gottgens

Rain Garden Dedicated with Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

September 15, 2008

A quick-draining, native vegetation demonstration rain garden between Parking Lot 10 north of the Glass Bowl and the Ottawa River on Main Campus was formally dedicated on Monday, September 15, 2008. The garden collects and filters storm water runoff from a 30,000-square-foot area and helps prevent it from draining directly into the Ottawa River, according to Dr. Hans Gottgens, professor of environmental sciences. The garden not only soaks up runoff and makes the campus more beautiful, but it also serves as an outdoor classroom for students studying water quality and environmental sustainability practices. Storm water carries a lot of pollutants, and keeping sediments, fertilizer, lawn and garden pesticides, oil and road salt out of the river on Main Campus is better for the fish and insects that live there, at the bottom of the food chain. Before the installation of the garden, storm water drained directly into the river.

Dr Patrick Lawrence makes the rain garden dedication speech

WTOL Eco-Track 11 Features UT President's Commission on the River

The President's Commission on the River is the focus of an Eco-Track 11 spot running on WTOL. It highlights our past and future work on the river project on UT's Main Campus.


Concept Drawings for Student Plaza and Savage Hall Projects


Celebrate Our River September 17-19, 2007 

Three major events were held Monday, Sept. 17, 2007 as the University held its first-ever "Celebrate Our River" event to give faculty, staff and students a chance to learn more about the river. The event was sponsored by the President's Commission on the River.


People canoed the waterway and enjoyed the scenery, and canoes were made available to the first 24 people, and those with their own canoes or kayaks were welcome. The event started in Ottawa Hills where the river crosses Talmadge Road north of Bancroft Street.


On Tuesday, Sept. 18, members of the UT Society of Environmental Education displayed handouts in the Student Union on Main Campus from 10 a.m. to 1:50 p.m.


A fish sampling demonstration took place Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 4 p.m. on the river next to the Law Center parking lot.

River Commission Reports to President

December 2006

Bringing to a close the first chapter of work of the President's Commission on the River, the group presented its final report to President Lloyd Jacobs during a meeting Dec. 15.

 "You've completed your charge in an exemplary way," said Jacobs, who then asked the group to envision how members would envision moving into an implementation phase.

The report entitled The River Runs Through It, outlines a number of opportunities to enhance and celebrate the Ottawa River as it crosses the Main Campus, including a student plaza, a boardwalk concept, river walks and rain gardens.

Richard Eastop, vice president emeritus of enrollment services and commission chair compared the potential for the river to the Centennial Mall project in the 1980's and the report's student-centered nature and recruitment opportunities it presents.

The commission will reconvene in January to discuss next steps, membership and early implementation steps.

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Last Updated: 6/27/22