COLUMBUS (WCMH) – How would you like to be tending a garden atop a rooftop location?

The view from atop Howlett Hall, part of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State, is beautiful, and extends eastward to the re-engineered portion of the Olentangy River through the campus area-part of the Olentangy River Restoration Project completed in September 2014. The $6.9 million environmental plan straightened out the flow of the river, back to its original form, and created a natural habitat for wildlife and native plants. During the construction, the Fifth Avenue Dam was removed along the river.

Shortly before the project was completed, the green roof filled with plants native to Ohio came to fruition and is part of OSU’s Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Gardens. The garden covers 12,000 square feet on the back end of Howlett Hall on Fyffe Court.

The proximity to the river is important: the garden and the surrounding green preserve on West Campus absorb storm water runoff that otherwise empties into the waterway that flows through campus and downtown Columbus.

About 4-to-6 inches of growing material prepared for green roofs was applied to the rooftop, which has walkways to help manage the plants with deep root systems. Rainwater not absorbed by plants is drained, reducing runoff that contributes to urban flooding.