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We're not recommending you jump on a plane today to fly to South Korea for the New Cities Summit, but do check out these Global Urban Innovators. Global Urban Innovators is a community of trailblazing international urban tech companies. These startups and social enterprises creatively apply technology to tackle pressing urban challenges. The Innovators were chosen for their radically new approach to improving cities around the world. By visiting the website you can follow the conference on social media to see what innovative ideas these folks are sharing with the world.
Posted In: Innovation
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Valuing Urban Landscapes – The Ravines of Clintonville

The scenic and biodiversity-rich Olentangy River extends north for 97 miles from its confluence with the Scioto River in downtown Columbus. It was the third scenic river designated in Ohio, including 22 miles south from the City of Delaware to just south of I-270. Northern reaches of its watershed are predominately agricultural with many villages and a few towns. The southern third of the river is heavily suburban and urban. In Columbus’ Clintonville neighborhood, just north of Ohio State University, several small tributaries extend short distances east, with steep ravine topography. The beauty and solitude of these ravines were recognized by developers and preservationists since at least the 1920s. Closely linked to the main stem Olentangy, these ravines are home to many interesting and rare plant and animal species, and are key parts of the Olentangy River ecosystem. Attend and learn more about these amazing and important urban landscapes, who is helping protect and restore them, then join a walking tour (via short bus ride) to see, smell, and feel these unusual-for-urban-Ohio places. The Environmental Professionals Network hosts a monthly breakfast series with compelling speakers on important innovative topics at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center on Ohio State’s campus - open to all. For complete information and registration for the breakfast session, click here. The walking tour is sold out.  
Did you know that more than half of Ohio residents live in 10 of the 88 counties? Ohio has six cities with populations of more than 100,000. Ohio is also home to more than 75,000 farms across nearly 14 million acres. Strengthening connections along the urban-rural continuum, strengthens Ohio. With a presence in all Ohio communities, OSU Extension continues to advance engagement with rural, suburban, and urban Ohioans. Shifts in demographic characteristics and community conditions require unique strategies to bring people and ideas together. Visit the Extension in the City website to learn how Extension's programs in Ohio's 10 most populous counties are relevant locally, responsive statewide, and recognized nationally. Click here for the two-page, printable 2016 Extension in the City Highlights report.  
Posted In: City CED, History
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Vacant lots, many contaminated, have become a community health issue for cities throughout Ohio.  More than 20 cities with populations over 20,000 have seen significant declines in population over the last 30 years, making them “shrinking” or “legacy” cities (Greater Ohio Policy Center, 2016).  In 2010, in response to this issue, the Ohio legislature made the formation of county land reutilization corporations (land banks) possible for 44 of Ohio’s most populous counties.  As of 2016, 40 of the 44 have formed land banks and are beginning to acquire, plan for and dispose of vacant lots. The Knowlton School has developed the Ohio Land Exchange (OH/LEX) program, a collaborative process designed to assist communities in engaging a broad range of stakeholders to plan and implement reuse strategies for vacant and abandoned land.  The process was developed over the past 2 years and has been successfully implemented as a pilot program in Lima, OH.   They have been awarded a Connect and Collaborate grant to extend the program to counties throughout Ohio by partnering Extension with local land banks. A one-day workshop is being held at the Knowlton School on May 25 to train Extension and Land Bank professionals about how to use the program. The workshop consists of 1) an overview, 2) simulation exercise, 3) environmental and regulatory process and 4) logistics and online tools. Complete information, including agenda, directions and registration link, can be found on the flier. To register for this free workshop, follow the link here or visit For more information, contact: Tijs Van Maasakkers Assistant Professor Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture City and Regional Planning Section 614-292-0949 Nancy Bowen-Ellzey Associate Professor OSU Extension Community Development 419-203-4148
The June 2017 issue of the Journal of Human Sciences and Extension is now available online (Volume 5, Number 2). To access it, visit and select the Current Issue tab. Dr. Julie Fox was the guest editor of this JHSE issue which focuses on urban Extension. Articles build upon the National Urban Extension Framework, published in 2015 by the National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL), and decades of applicable insight. The invited authors address the distinct aspects of Extension in urban settings through meaningful examples of research, practice, and theory related to Extension positioning, programs, personnel, and partnerships. Printed copies of the issue will be available to attendees at the National Urban Extension Conference.
Posted In: City CED, Urban Serving Universities
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Dr. Richard Florida is the speaker for the Spring 2017 Discovery Themes Lecture about his upcoming book The New Urban Crisis. The lecture takes place on April 19 at Mershon Auditorium on OSU's main campus. The event is free and open to the public. Live stream will also be available to those with Ohio State credential (name.#) Richard Florida is the author of the best-selling The Rise of the Creative Class and a former Ohio State faculty member. In his upcoming book, The New Urban Crisis, Florida argues that as the middle class continues to shrink, our cities are becoming small areas of privilege surrounded by vast swaths of disadvantage. His talk comes as Ohio State—a founding member of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities—is re-examining how it can best address the needs of Columbus. For additional details including registration go to
The National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL) came to Ohio for the 2016 bi-annual meeting. NUEL began in 2013 as a grass-roots effort from a group of passionate and committed urban Extension professionals with the mission to advocate and advance the strategic importance and long-term value of urban Extension by being relevant locally, responsive statewide, and recognized nationally. OSU Extension in the City shares this mission and supports development of the national framework. Trends influencing Extension's urban priorities include demographics and diversity; complex community conditions, and urban-suburban-rural interdependencies. The national Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) now focuses on urban Extension as a top priority. The NUEL bi-annual meeting was held on May 24 - May 26, 2016 in Columbus, OH. A special pre-meeting Policy workshop was held on Monday, May 23. The meeting concluded on May 26 with a City Tour featuring the programs, people, partners, and impacts of OSU Extension in Franklin County. Bi-annual events were held in the Downtown, Short North, Arena District, University, and surrounding areas of Columbus, OH. With 11.5 million residents, Ohio is the seventh most populous state in the nation. More than half of Ohio residents live in 10 of the state’s 88 counties, and many others travel to cities for work and recreation. In addition to the bi-annual meetings, NUEL provides webinars throughout the year and supports the national urban Extension conference.   Reviewed by: James Stiving, Program Assistant, OSU Extension in the City and Central Region
In March the Delaware and Union county Extension offices partnered to put on a Chef's Camp for 5th through 7th grade students. One of the goals of this program was to draw an audience not previously reached by Extension. It was open to both 4-H and non-4-H members and was advertised through schools, social media and local businesses. The camp was open to a maximum of sixteen participants based on available space, volunteers and equipment.  The camp was 4 days and lasted from 12:30- 4:30 p.m. and was held during the county schools spring break. The cost of the program for the participants was $75 which covered ingredients, an apron, measuring cups and spoons, cutting mats and a recipe book to take home at the end of the program.
A group showing off their pumpkin waffles with Brutus. A group showing off their pumpkin waffles with Brutus.

The students not only learned cooking skills but there was also a focus on nutrition, sensory food science, food safety and new ingredient exploration. Recipes included chicken curry, marinated salmon, ratatouille, cassava cupcakes and many more. Each recipe was chosen to teach students a new skill and reinforce food safety practices. Groups learned about protein denaturation as they cooked eggs and a variety of meat dishes. A tasting session was held after all the foods were prepared allowing groups to try each other’s dishes and comment on them. Groups created poster presentations on food safety and MyPlate based on that day’s cooking assignment. In down time the participants had the opportunity to do a variety of activities including using the state 4-H smoothie bike to learn about energy output and blend a smoothie while riding a stationary bike. A sensory game helped teach students how much smell factors in to their ability to taste and identify different flavors. Other activities included equipment and ingredient identification and food safety standards.
Taste testing Ratatouille, Chicken Curry, Manicotti and Salmon. Taste testing Ratatouille, Chicken Curry, Manicotti and Salmon.

This pilot program was a huge success and feedback from participants and parents helped confirm that there is a need and want for Food and Nutrition based programing. The future goals of this program are to develop a state curriculum that can be used in other counties.  Additional topic areas for future lesson plan development include: Cultural foods, meat science, food science and sensory science. Getting youth excited about preparing food and the science and nutrition behind cooking has health and wellness benefits as well as foster an interest in career opportunities.
Students preparing toppings for Pulled Pork Burritos. Students preparing toppings for Pulled Pork Burritos.

This short program was ideal for busy families that cannot commit to a traditional 4-H year timeline while providing a fun educational experience for the youth. Most participants wanted to know when they could sign up for the next program and others wanted to know if it would be available for older youth. Several parents indicated that they would be interested in the camp being offered over winter, spring and summer breaks. The next Chef’s camp opportunity will likely take place over winter break in Delaware County and will be offering a similar curriculum to the pilot camp with some new materials. The concept of this program originated with Christy Leeds –Union County 4-H and Youth Development Educator and County Director reading about cooking classes for youth in Columbus. Carmen Irving- Union County Family and Consumer Science Educator and Carol Keck- Delaware County Program Coordinator for Extension in the City began working on Christy’s concept. The Chef’s camp was developed by working across program areas and reaching outside the traditional structure of 4-H youth development. Reviewed By: Carmen Irving- Union County Family and Consumer Science Educator
Author:  David Crawford, OSU Extension, Stark County, CED & 4-H Youth Development Educator This five-year USDA/CYFAR grant started in late 2013 and funds the efforts that address local concerns on the importance of active fathering, provides youth participants with hands-on 4-H activities to develop marketable skills,  and the improve nutritional health of targeted youths and adults in Stark, Hardin and Franklin Counties. All 4-H programs focus on active involvement and quality experiences which stimulate lifelong learning of values and skills.  More than 20 fathers and youth participated in a 2014 data collection activity to assist in designing the weGrill© program to meet the needs of participants in Stark. Program curriculum is being developed and piloted. Preliminary formative evaluation occurred during three grilling workshops in 2014 with more than 60 total youth/father participants. Needs assessment data and information gathered from these workshops are being used in the development of the curriculum. The program will be implemented in communities in 2016 after intensive piloting in 2015-2016.
Stark Site WeGrill Edited 2 The program targets adult male participants who are fathers, grandfathers, uncles, or step-fathers, and their adolescent youth ages 11-18 years old

The program targets adult male participants who are fathers, grandfathers, uncles, or step-fathers, and their adolescent youth ages 11-18 years old. Participants participate in hands on, learning activities, to incorporate the following themes: Awareness, Responsibility, Decision-making and Connection.  Each of the main topics will have a number of themes that are introduced and interwoven throughout.  Topics include compassion, commitment, forgiveness, gratitude, identity, leadership, preparation, responsibility, and respect.  A collaborative effort exists for the success of the program.  Campus researchers, 4-H, EFNEP and ANR professionals have contributed to this effort in Stark County. Our local Stark County community partner is FameFathers ( who assists in participant recruitment, planning, and program delivery/development.
Stark Site WeGrill Edited 1 Stark County, OSUE , OSU and Fame Fathers weGrill Team Members facilitate pilot sessions to evaluation curriculum and activities with youth and fathers at a Stark Metropolitan Housing Authority (SMHA) site.

“The curriculum is designed as a four session, in-person series, taught by Extension professionals, each session being approximately two hours long. The themes will tie the information for fathers (fatherhood education) and youth (4-H youth development) into an integrated learning package.  Lesson material will be augmented by father/child activity and nutrition cards that can be used during the in-person sessions and at home.  Activity cards are designed for fathers and youth to engage each other in simple activities to build stronger relationships and develop life skills.  Nutrition cards are used to demonstrate grilling techniques, recipes, serving sizes, and dietary health,” shared by Dr. James Bates, Principal Investigator, Assistant Professor, Extension Field Specialist, Family Wellness, Ohio State University Extension. The 4-H Grilling and Beyond Team looks forward to develop quality opportunities for this program effort to be replicated throughout Ohio and the nation. Reviewed by Mike Hogan, Extension Educator and Associate Professor Reviewed by:  Dr. James Bates, Assistant Professor, Extension Field Specialist, Family Wellness, Ohio State University Extension.
The United States has long welcomed people from distant shores. Ohio currently welcomes thousands of immigrants and refugees each year.  According to the Office of the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, a refugee is someone who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country." In Ohio, most refugees have been resettled in Franklin, Cuyahoga, Montgomery, and Summit Counties. Resettlement agencies, religious organizations, and community groups are critical to helping persons adjust to their new communities by assisting with the most immediate needs of finding homes, developing English language skills, and medical care. These same organizations also assist with long term challenges such as job training. Immigrants are defined as “those who have entered the United States as a lawful permanent resident.” In a recent report by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs entitled “Growing the Heartland: How Immigrants Offset Population Decline and an Aging Workforce in Midwest Metropolitan Cities” stated that while much of the Midwest suffered net population loss between 2000-2009, the Akron, OH metropolitan area (Summit and Stark County) gained over 9,000 new residents and 54% of this was due to immigrants and refugees settling in the area. People from this population are starting businesses, buying homes, and increase the local economy. In some counties, such as Cuyahoga and Montgomery, Ohio State University Extension has worked with organizations that help refugees and immigrants develop job skills via agri-businesses, such as farms and compost facilities. Immigrants and refugees are changing the landscape of our Ohio cities, can help reverse population loss, and are becoming vibrant members of our communities. How can we best embrace and support our newest neighbors? For more information: Reviewed by: David Crawford, Educator III Stark County Extension Director & 4-H Youth Development