When Kevin Archdeacon, 28, took the Ohio Fellows humanities approach to leadership course, it inspired him to want to help Sinclair students become passionate about protecting and sustaining water resources and become more aware of the environment.
Archdeacon, who is a chemistry major at Sinclair, said that the course was environmentally based and required him to do a service learning project. For his project, he has to display leadership. So he is bringing his passion for the Miami River and the environment to Sinclair on June 7, in the basement of Building 8, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The event will have live music and free food. The Fair Shakes, a local band, and Sinclair student performers will be present. The event is open to the public.
“I love the river and the water, so I decided to use that as my project,” Archdeacon said. “Denny Wilson and I decided to make this a great event, so that the students can feel connected and feel like there is something to be involved with.”
Sarah Hippensteel, from the Miami Conservancy District (MCD), will be one of several experts from the City of Dayton. She will be discussing ways that the MCD helps to preserve the quality of water through monitoring and testing, as well as how the MCD provides students with the education to protect their local water resources.
“The Conservancy District helps the communities protect their water resources. We work with community members to help them understand the benefits of our water resources and how individuals impact the quality. And how they can use the rivers and streams as recreation opportunities,” Hippensteel said. “We believe that people are more likely to care for something if they appreciate it. The more we are able to get people down to the river then they are more likely to protect the river and the groundwater.”
Archdeacon said that this event may be the springboard for a Sinclair organization next year that is environmentally based. Future projects include annual chemical testing of The Great Miami River, creating a program with MCD to teach students about the river and the environment and increasing the amount of recycling bins on campus as well as river clean-ups.
“Student engagement is something that I have always wanted to do here,” Archdeacon said. “I want to get students together to be passionate about something. For me it is the environment, but if this event can get students together regardless of their approach, maybe I can use this event as a way to inspire students to do great things.”
The event, Archdeacon said, will help students enhance their knowledge of water resources and the environment. There will be many tables set up from representatives with information about their local ecological organization and what they do in regards to river conservation and sustainability.
“This is my passion, I have always felt connected to the environment and the earth,” he said. “This class and this event have helped me show my passion and try to inspire other people as well.”