Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW)


Mission Statement

FLOW's mission is to keep the Olentangy River and its tributaries clean and safe for all to enjoy, through public education, volunteer activities, and coordination with local decision-makers.


Based in Columbus Ohio, the Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW) is a 501c3 grassroots non-profit organization dedicated to keeping the Olentangy River and its tributaries clean through volunteer activities and public education. Volunteer activities include stream corridor management like the removal of invasive plants and replanting. Invasive honeysuckle plants and others have overrun riparian areas along the Olentangy and its tributaries. FLOW organizes events to physically remove the unwanted plants. We use the honeysuckle removal events to encourage our residents to be better stewards of their environment. When visitors observe positive changes in their park, we hope they make the same changes on their own property.

Program Details

FLOW provides tree planting in the Olentangy Watershed, especially in city parks and school grounds. In 2016, FLOW planted 4,888 seedlings and 515 larger trees with the help of volunteers. New trees increase canopy cover and reduces stormwater flow to streams and rivers. This lessens the flashiness of streams and reduces the amount of erosion and sedimentation entering the streams. This improves and maintains habitat for both fish and macroinvertebrates and is essential in providing resilience to handle with climate change and our growing urban heat island impacts in Central Ohio.
FLOW also organizes river and park clean-ups. FLOW targets groups such as Ohio State University students because campus is a high litter area. Some river clean-ups are conducted along the banks of the stream, while others require a canoe or kayak to navigate the river. In 2016 FLOW’s volunteers collected 418 bags of trash not including larger items that were also removed.
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3528 N. High Street, Suite F
Columbus, OH 43214
United States
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