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Sustainability tours highlight local assets and partnerships for students and community members

Sustainability tours are open to both campus stakeholders and members of our local communities.
Maya Meade
November 29, 2021

The Office of Sustainability at Ohio University has been working hard to create community outreach programs for OHIO community members and for the Athens community. According to Sam Crowl, the Associate Director of the Office of Sustainability, “Ohio University defines sustainability as the capacity to simultaneously benefit people, the planet and prosperity now and in the future.  The Office of Sustainability facilitates the implementation of the Ohio University Sustainability and Climate Action Plan and ensures fulfillment of institutional commitments to environmental, social, and economic well-being.”

Crowl also emphasizes that the office offers numerous services not only to faculty, staff, and students, but also to local organizations and individuals working to make our communities more socially just, ecologically balanced, and prosperous. Services offered by the Office of Sustainability, many in partnership with the Voinovich School of Public Service, include providing information, reports, tours, and presentations; supporting sustainable events and programs; providing curricular and co-curricular assistance for academic courses and research. Additionally, the university collaborates with the City of Athens and local organizations on advancing sustainability and offering opportunities for volunteers to assist in sustainability initiatives.

Interested in signing up for a Tour? Tours and programs offered by the Office of Sustainability include:


The Compost Facility Tour, which has been requested for OHIO, Hocking College and local elementary school courses as well as other universities interested in developing their own systems, such as Marshall University and the University of Kentucky.

Compost facility image
Staff members of the OHIO Compost Facility focus on day to day activities to turn the university's food waste into usable soil. This compost facility is the largest in-vessel system at any college or university in the nation.

The OHIO Ecohouse Tour, which can be combined with the Compost Facility Tour.

Ecohouse students demonstrate the energy-efficient appliances.
Thane Evans (from left), Jerone Anderson, Nathan Jud, Nora Rye and Danny Young look at the energy efficient washing machine in the basement of Ohio University's Ecohouse.


A Stormwater Infrastructure Tour focuses on the history of flooding challenges on campus and locally, and highlights some of the best management practices currently being followed to create a more resilient landscape.

Students and employees sit by the green roof on Patton Hall.
Ohio University’s first green roof on Patton Hall, installed in 2016, covers 2,000 square feet. Tightly fitting plastic trays contain 16 varieties of low-growing sedums, one thyme and one allium species in six inches of planting medium. The roof uses rainfall to conserve water and sustain plant life.

The mAppAthens Project, an initiative curated by Dr. Nancy Stevensincludes many other sustainability-related tours and resources highlighting our local assets as well, including:

The Energy & Biofuel Tour:

Runners run past a biofuel tour at the Ridges Land Lab.
Runners run past a biofuel tour at the Ridges Land Lab.

The Campus Green Tree Tour:

A tour guide teaches a tour group about trees on campus.
A tour guide teaches a tour group about the wide variety of trees on OHIO's campus.

The Ridges Tree Tour Loop:

Ohio students lead a tour with a local school group.
OHIO students lead a tour for a local school group.

The Green Infrastructure Tour:

Gardens on the Schoonover Green Roof
Schoonover Center, students and faculty use water flumes and sensors to learn how green roofs slow down and clean stormwater runoff.

The Grand Bug Tour:

A bug on a tour guide's hand.
A tour guide holds a bug for the tour group to examine.

The Birders Trail:

The Hocking River and White's Mill.
The Birder's Tour runs along the Hocking River past White's Mill.

The Hocking Adena River and Bikeway:

The cherry blossoms along the Bikeway
Spring is a great time to walk along the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway!


Sustainability Walking Map:

Students looking at maps of the Ridges
Grab a map at the Kennedy Museum for a self-guided tour!

 And Guest Lectures are also available!