Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW)
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3528 North High Street Suite F
Columbus, OH 43214
Ms. Laura A Fay  
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CEO/Executive Director
Board Chair

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.

Organization Overview

Impact Statement


  • We planted over 3 acres of floodplain at Broad Meadows Boulevard. We planted 1,750 seedling trees and 15 larger trees. This will improve the river habitat; reduce the amount of mowing, fertilzer and herbicide applied; & provide more habitat. 

  • We created 5 rain gardent at five new homes in Weinland Park as part of our outreach and environmental education to all Columbus developers on the value of infiltrating stormwater to create valuable amenities.

  • FLOW planted 5 acres of riparian habitat in the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation Easement at the Ohio School for the Deaf with over 1650 seedling trees.

  • We educated our residents on the water quality value of removing the 5th Avenue dam.  

  • FLOW planted 3 edible rain gardens in 2014 at the Crest GastroPub and 2 and Stratford Ecological Center to demonstrate how to infiltrate rainwater and benefit from edible food


  • We will work with multiple partners to remove invasive species like Tree of Heaven, Eunoymous, Bush Honeysuckle, and Purple Loosestrife throughout the watershed.

  • We will plant 3 butterfly and pollinator gardens to improve the habitat in the Olentangy Watershed. We will reach out to schools, showing them how to meet Ohio Academic Content Standards and improve the environment for students.

  • Adopt-A-Pond- FLOW will continue working with pond owners to increase the ecological habitat around ponds. Our first partners were Ohio State University and Worthington Hills Golf Course. We are targeting 4 more ponds for 2015. 

  • Re-Leaf Linden- FLOW is working on restoring Glen Echo Tributary by replanting the urban tree canopy in Linden. This is a long term project but we will plant between 50-100 trees this fall.

Background Statement

Founded in 1997, FLOW's aim has been to keep the Olenangy River and its tributaries clean and safe for all to enjoy, through public education, volunteer activities, and coordination with local decision makers. We are best known for our Watershed Action Plan, which identifies the problems on the Olentangy River and makes specific recommendations for solutions. We created the action plan by working with multiple partners (both government and private). Our work at this time is focused on implementing the recommendations contained in the action plan. We are also known for our Backyard Conservation Program, which teaches homeowners simple things (such as the use of rain barrels) that they can do in their own yards to help protect our rivers and streams. We actively promote recreational opportunities on the Olentangy River, most recently through the creation of a water trail that increases public access for canoeists and kayakers. Our water-trail program emphasizes safety and awareness of the lowhead dams that can be a hazard for boaters. With only a part-time staff person, we are volunteer-driven, and we offer many exciting volunteer opportunities.





I am proud to serve as the Board Chair for FLOW this year. I have the opportunity to work directly with so many wonderful volunteers and Board members that donate their time to make our community along the Lower Olentangy Watershed a better place to live and play!


I am amazed at the number of volunteers that come to our events even when the weather is threatening rain or snow! The volunteers all work hard and everyone is amazed at what we can accomplish in just a half day event.



What I like most about FLOW are all the volunteers that take time out of their busy schedules to give back to our community!



Additional Organization Information
Number of Full-Time Staff:
Number of Part-Time Staff:
Number of Volunteers: 1000 
Staff Retention Rate:


Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Fundraising Plan No
Management Succession/Training Plan No
Organization Policies and Procedures Yes
Strategic Plan No
Additional Organization Information
  • Battelle River and Stream Team: Work annually with Battelle on tree planting projects.
  • Franklin Soil and Water: Participate in the Central Ohio Rain Garden Initiative Projects.
  • Liberty Park Township: Assist with writing grants, acquiring Army Corps of Engineers permits, and developing the request for proposals from contractors.
  • United Crestview Area Neighbors: Work cooperatively to implement the Lower Olentangy Urban Arboretum.


Local Governing Board
Board Members
Ms. Lisa Daris,  
Ms. Laura A Fay,  
Mr. Kent Halloran,  
Dr. Andrew Heckler Ph.D.,  
Mr. Steve Leahy,  
Mr. Andrew Meador,  
Mr. Brian Ogle,  
Mr. David White,  
Additional Organization Information
Board Meetings Annually 11 
Board Meeting Attendance 72% 
Board Member Monetary Contributions 112%
Board Member In-kind Contributions 112%
Gender Female 33%
  Male 67%
Race African-American/Black 0%
  Asian-American/Pacific Islander 0%
  Caucasian 100%
  Hispanic/Latino 0%
  Native American/American Indian 0%
  Multi-Racial 0%
  Other 0%
Advisory Board
No members in the Advisory Board.


Re-Leaf Linden

Re-Leaf Linden- FLOW is working on our plan to restore Glen Echo tributary by reducing the flashiness of the rainwater that rushes through Glen Echo Park by increasing the tree canopy in the upstream area of Linden. The added benefit of planting trees will provide dividends to the residents by lowering their energy bills, improving air quality, improving aesthetics, increasing property values



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Adopt-an-Area of the Olentangy

FLOW coordinates volunteer workdays for community groups, schools, and businesses to plant trees, remove invasive plants, and pick up litter along the Olentangy River and its tributaries. These events are open to the public and families are welcome. FLOW currently has 26 Adopt-A-Spot groups that conduct at least two cleanup or planting projects per year.

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Olentangy Water Trail

FLOW works to promote the creation of a water trail on the Olentangy River. The purpose of the program is to increase recreational opportunities by creating public access points for canoes and kayaks. We also seek to educate the public about potential safety issues on the river, such as lowhead dams. FLOW and The Ohio State University Engineers without Borders recently created a water trail access at Wilson Bridge Road.

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Adopt-A-Pond- FLOW will continue working with pond owners to increase the ecological habitat around ponds thanks to a generous grant from Lush Homemade Cosmetics at Easton. Our first partners were Ohio State University and Worthington Hills Golf Course. We are targeting 4 more ponds for 2015.  Two of our new partners want to try a floating island wetland to reduce the nutrient enrichment in their pond.

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Data reflects three most recently completed fiscal years.

Current Fiscal Year 01/01/2015 - 12/31/2015
Projected Revenue $58,583
Projected Expense $61,322
Endowment Fund No
Current Capital Campaign? No
Anticipate a capital campaign in next 5 years? No

Revenues by Source

  2014   2013   2012  
Total Direct Support
Direct Support Foundations
Direct Support Corporations
Direct Support Individuals
Direct Support Unspecified
Indirect Public Support
Earned Revenue
Interest and Dividends
Membership Dues
Special Events

Expense by Type

  2014   2013   2012  
Payment to Affiliates

Assets and Liabilities

  2014   2013   2012  
Total Assets
Current Assets
Total Liabilities
Current Liabilities


TCF Staff:
Mr. Brian Ogle

Fiscal year 2012 revenue reflects the Olentangy Urban Rainscape grant awarded by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Education Fund, and the organization's successful fundraising efforts, including the Liberty Township Wildcat Run.

Documents Form 990 2012

All portrait information is provided voluntarily by nonprofit organizations. An organization may decline to participate. At a minimum, information is updated annually--sometimes more frequently. Documents indicated as available by an organization are verified by Foundation staff. The financial section is completed by Foundation staff based on available documents for a three-year period.