FACT service efforts in 2009 have continued positively connecting hundreds of area residents to Alum Creek for the good of our local community and sustainable environment. Our work in this sector of FACT’s mission is highly leveraged through the contributed time and energy of many hundreds of annual volunteers. Some 24 events held at 12 different locations in 2009 with 624 participants have netted 251 bags of trash, 107 tires and 87 oversize items from sensitive areas in and near Alum Creek. Our shovels and muscles have planted 924 native trees and shrubs, and 281native perennials to enhance public creek- and trail-side buffer areas, including a splendid demonstration rain garden at Casto Park. Our saws, muscles and weed wrenches have also removed over 4,500 more invasive Eurasian bush honeysuckles from along the creek banks, restoring more of the ecological balance in those locations.
Outstanding volunteer participation on Earth Day, National Public Lands Day, Ohio River Sweep, the Bexley Spring Festival, Community Care Day, Jewish Federation of Columbus ‘Mitzvah Day’, and special individual service events with Westerville Central High School, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, visiting Israeli high school students, and even my son’s birthday party (his idea!) contributed to great FACT service project results in 2009. FACT’s steady commitment to our Adopted Area in Academy Park and along Nelson Road south of E. Broad Street has been practiced through five restoration and enhancement events there.
Partnership support and sponsors assisting FACT in these efforts have included the City of Columbus Recreation and Parks Division, Keep Columbus Beautiful, Ohio-American Water Company, The Little Garden Club of Columbus, Westerville Schools, and student environmental clubs from Otterbein College “Plan-It Earth”, Ohio Dominican University, Bexley High School, and St. Charles. FACT provides opportunities for meaningful service learning experiences, as we connect individual behavior with watershed stewardship.
Despite severe financial challenges FACT faces, our service results have been as strong as ever, and participation rates have increased another 30 percent over last year. According to FACT’s consistent records since 2001, over 50 percent of our total service volunteer person-hours, and 80 percent of our total net “productivity” (weighted values of different improvements calculated for the long term benefit of the watershed) have been obtained from 2007 through 2009. We’re strategically doing more of what matters most, and we believe it’s having a measurable positive impact on the health of our river and natural environment! Thanks to all (specifically named above or otherwise) who continue to make this possible with your valuable contributions of all kinds! Please continue to support FACT however you can, now and in the future.