University Wetland Gets International Eye

August 25, 2008

Editor: For photos of the Korean film crew at work, contact Martha Filipic at (614) 292-9833.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A Korean television crew visited Columbus' world-renown wetland Aug. 11-12 to shoot footage for a documentary to air in Korea during the international Ramsar Convention on Wetlands triennial meeting.

Bill Mitsch, director of the Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park, said the Korean Broadcast Company crew interviewed him about wetland restoration for its five-part documentary, "Wetland Rediscovery." The documentary is scheduled to air in Korea in honor of Ramsar's 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties in Changwon, Republic of Korea, Oct. 28-Nov. 4.

The crew traveled to Columbus to interview Mitsch because of his international reputation on constructing new wetlands. Earlier this summer, the Olentangy wetland was designated a "Wetland of International Importance" by Ramsar.

"They were fascinated that we created these wetlands on a college campus and do all this research on creating wetlands," said Mitsch, who wrote the book -- literally -- on wetlands science and management ("Wetlands" by William J. Mitsch and James G. Gosselink; the fourth edition was released in 2007).

Mitsch said his message for the film crew was the same basic mantra he recites whenever he talks about constructing wetlands: "Mother Nature, Father Time."

"Ultimately, Mother Nature is in charge of what the biology of a wetland is going to be," Mitsch explained. "You can plant whatever you want, but in the end, Mother Nature will win out. Nature is the chief engineer.

"But you also have to consider Father Time," Mitsch said. "There's no such thing as an instant wetland. It can take a decade or more to establish a wetland, and there's no way to rush it. You can't make a good wetland in five years."

While the Korean crew was here, they also interviewed members of the wetland's Advisory Board, a bird-watching visitor to the wetland, and Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee.

The wetland research park is celebrating its designation as a Wetland of International Importance with a SwampFest on Thursday, Sept. 25, 5 to 10 p.m. On the schedule:

 

 

 

 

 

  • "Picnic at the Swamp," 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Picnic food will be available for purchase, or visitors can bring their own. Free water or soft drinks for the first 1,000 guests.
  • Evening outdoor lecture, 7 p.m.-8 p.m., on Wetlands of the World by Royal C. Gardner, professor of law at Stetson University in Florida.
  • Free bluegrass (Loosely Strung) and rock (3-Wheel Drive) bands will play all evening.

 

For more information on the wetland or the SwampFest, see http://swamp.osu.edu.

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Author(s): 
Martha Filipic
Source(s): 
Bill Mitsch