Community lends hand on Earth Day


By Glenn Battishill - gbattishill@aimmediamidwest.com



Pennsylvania residents Erik and Leif Caldwell plant a seedling in the forest at Mingo Park Monday. Erik said they were in town visiting his father, Robert Caldwell, and decided to attend the event. Erik said he grew up in Delaware and was happy to lend a hand cleaning up a place where he played as a kid.

Pennsylvania residents Erik and Leif Caldwell plant a seedling in the forest at Mingo Park Monday. Erik said they were in town visiting his father, Robert Caldwell, and decided to attend the event. Erik said he grew up in Delaware and was happy to lend a hand cleaning up a place where he played as a kid.


Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

Delanie Baker, left, Anna Swanson, back, and Izzy Riusech, right, were three of the 59 volunteers at the event Monday. They spent a portion of their time picking up litter at the border between Mingo Park and U.S. Route 23. None of the trio are local to the area but attend Ohio Wesleyan University. They wanted to clean up the park on Earth Day.


Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

Chuck and Nancy Townley, local residents, plant a seedling Monday afternoon. The area of the forest where the seedlings were planted was previously overrun by honeysuckle until a group of volunteers removed the invasive species in March. The six seedling species that were planted are all local to the area.


Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

In honor of Earth Day, nearly 60 members of community cleaned up more than 30 bags of litter and planted 250 seedlings at Mingo Park Monday afternoon.

The event, which aimed to clean up the park and repopulate the forest with native species, was a collaboration between the City of Delaware Public Utilities Department, Keep Delaware Beautiful, the Olentangy Watershed Alliance, and the Ohio EPA.

City Arborist Doug Richmond said that in March, a group of volunteers cleared a section of the forest of honeysuckle, an invasive species not native to the area. Richmond said Monday that the volunteers would be planting white oak, swamp white oak, sycamore, shagbark hickory, shellbark hickory, and flowering dogwood to repopulate the area.

Richmond said he was pleased with the event’s turnout of 59 volunteers.

“It’s great to see,” he said. “It’s a beautiful day.”

Nancy Townley, a Delaware resident and member of the Delaware Chapter of the Citizen’s Climate Lobby, planted trees at the event with her husband, Chuck, and said they were happy to lend a hand.

“We’ve got to start paying attention to our environment or we’re not going to have a place to live,” Townley said. “It’s great to see so many young people here, too.”

Will Caldwell, a scout in Pack 488, said he was glad to help the forest.

“(I’m here) to help with the Earth,” Caldwell said. “We’re here to help bring back native species.”

Not everyone at the event was local, including Erik Caldwell, who is from Pennsylvania. Caldwell said he and his kids were in town visiting his father, Robert Caldwell, a Delaware local, and thought they’d lend a hand at the event.

“I grew up here,” Erik said. “I remember playing here. It’s fun to come back.”

The 250 seedlings were provided by Green Columbus.

While half of the volunteers planted the seedlings, another group roamed around the park and trudged through the underbrush, picking up litter and trash.

“I care about the environment,” said Delanie Baker, an Ohio Wesleyan University student. Any time I can be involved (in the environment) I’m there.”

Baker, a California native, said she’s studying micro-biology and hopes to use micro-biology in the future to help the environment.

Izzy Riusech and Anna Swanson, two OWU students, were teamed up with Baker. The trio picked up trash near U.S. Route 23.

Riusech said she’s from Texas and has done a few beach cleanups but was glad she came to the event. Swanson, also from Texas, said she’d also done cleanup events before but felt especially compelled Monday.

“It’s Earth Day, and I thought if I’m going to go outside, I might as well clean up,” Swanson said. “I want to do more.”

City of Delaware Watershed and Sustainability Coordinator Carole Cicerchi said Tuesday that volunteers cleaned up 32 bags of litter by the time the event concluded at 6:30 p.m.

Pennsylvania residents Erik and Leif Caldwell plant a seedling in the forest at Mingo Park Monday. Erik said they were in town visiting his father, Robert Caldwell, and decided to attend the event. Erik said he grew up in Delaware and was happy to lend a hand cleaning up a place where he played as a kid.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2019/04/web1_DSC_0426.jpgPennsylvania residents Erik and Leif Caldwell plant a seedling in the forest at Mingo Park Monday. Erik said they were in town visiting his father, Robert Caldwell, and decided to attend the event. Erik said he grew up in Delaware and was happy to lend a hand cleaning up a place where he played as a kid. Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

Delanie Baker, left, Anna Swanson, back, and Izzy Riusech, right, were three of the 59 volunteers at the event Monday. They spent a portion of their time picking up litter at the border between Mingo Park and U.S. Route 23. None of the trio are local to the area but attend Ohio Wesleyan University. They wanted to clean up the park on Earth Day.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2019/04/web1_DSC_0440.jpgDelanie Baker, left, Anna Swanson, back, and Izzy Riusech, right, were three of the 59 volunteers at the event Monday. They spent a portion of their time picking up litter at the border between Mingo Park and U.S. Route 23. None of the trio are local to the area but attend Ohio Wesleyan University. They wanted to clean up the park on Earth Day. Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

Chuck and Nancy Townley, local residents, plant a seedling Monday afternoon. The area of the forest where the seedlings were planted was previously overrun by honeysuckle until a group of volunteers removed the invasive species in March. The six seedling species that were planted are all local to the area.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2019/04/web1_DSC_0437.jpgChuck and Nancy Townley, local residents, plant a seedling Monday afternoon. The area of the forest where the seedlings were planted was previously overrun by honeysuckle until a group of volunteers removed the invasive species in March. The six seedling species that were planted are all local to the area. Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

By Glenn Battishill

gbattishill@aimmediamidwest.com

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.