GAMBIER — Fourteen of Ohio’s rivers are included in the Ohio Department of Natural Resource Scenic River Program based on their biodiversity, beauty, and extent of stream-side conservation. They represent the top one percent of Ohio rivers, and the Kokosing River is among them.
On the 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act, the Brown Family Environmental Center at Kenyon College and the Knox County Park District invite community members to a screening of “Call of the Scenic River, an Ohio Journey,” a documentary that explores the state of Ohio’s rivers.
The film will air Wednesday, May 2, at 7 p.m. at the Kenyon Athletic Center Theater, located at 221 Duff St., Gambier. Donations will be accepted, with proceeds benefiting the BFEC Field Trip Scholarship Fund in support of outdoor environmental education for elementary school students.
“We’re very lucky to have such a wonderful river in our community,” says Heather Doherty, Program Manager of the Brown Family Environmental Center. “We can actually feel good about letting our kids swim or fish in it, and that’s not true for other rivers across the state.”
The film follows Ohio filmmaker Tom Mayor’s journey as he experiences Ohio’s scenic rivers, including the Kokosing, and learns first-hand about pollution issues, the ecological and economic impacts of water quality, and how we can help.
Filmed by veteran Ohio cinematographers, Mike King and Adam White, with underwater footage by Tom Mayor, the film captures the stunning and natural beauty of the rivers, while featuring the historical perspective of water quality and the modern conditions that affect these watershed ecosystems.
Ohio was the first state to declare a scenic rivers program in March of 1968, and Ohio’s program continues to lead the nation because of its respect of private property, its commitment to designating the most ecologically intact systems, and its popular volunteer opportunities.
The Kokosing River was designated as a scenic river in 1998. Since then, the Knox County Park District has partnered with ODNR to develop the Kokosing River Water Trail, which created access points for boating, fishing, and swimming.
According to Doherty, the Kokosing River boasts nearly 80 species of fish. “It’s wonderful to take people to the river and allow them to see what’s living there. Thanks to the Water Trail, Kokosing Gap Trail, and conservation work of other organizations in the community, we’re also building our economy with tourism opportunities.”
The BFEC and KCPD will lead programs to explore bald eagles that live along the river June 10 and the river itself Aug. 9. For more information about the film screening and other programs, contact Doherty at 427-5052, or visit http://bfec.kenyon.edu.
Published on April 28, 2012