ODK students lead University ‘back to our roots’ campaign

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Students in Bowling Green State University’s Omicron Delta Kappa chapter are leading a campus “Back to our Roots” fund-raising effort to help keep St. John’s Wood in Wintergarden Park a nature preserve—and out of the hands of developers.

The ODK students are offering orange wristbands for a minimum $1 donation and accepting donations.

The campaign represents reciprocation for the city’s generosity to BGSU. The University is situated on what was once the city park. A hundred years ago, the people of Bowling Green accepted $1 in payment for the land, and the state began to build the campus where University, Moseley and Hanna halls now stand.

Meanwhile, in 2005, a real estate development company purchased about 20 acres adjacent to the nature preserve on South Wintergarden Road, with plans to build almost 70 houses on the last, large wooded area within the city limits.

“This area is home to many old trees, indigenous plants and many kinds of animals. It also provides education and recreation opportunities for all citizens,” said Liz Harper, ODK president.

In alarm, the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Foundation worked out an agreement with the developers to purchase the property for $585,000. After efforts by the Foundation and community members, about $50,000 remains on the amount owed before the deadline.

“One hundred years later, BGSU students, faculty, staff and retirees have a unique opportunity to assist the city that made the University’s existence possible. As students of BGSU and members of the Bowling Green community, the members of ODK hope that everyone will be eager to lend a helping hand,” Harper said.

ODK is a national leadership honorary that recognizes superior scholarship, leadership and exemplary character of students, faculty and staff. Members are committed to the betterment of the community.

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(Posted October 12, 2010 )