Creating change through collaboration.

Greetings Fellows and Friends! My name is Bailey Cleary-Foeller and I will be spending my ten week Columbus Foundation Summer Fellowship working with the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC). As a regional planning commission, MORPC focuses on a number of different issues such as providing housing rehabilitation programs, working towards cleaner and more energy efficient regional transportation systems and participating in plans which will help build and support a strong local-food system. Although MORPC focuses on a wide range of issues the overarching goal of the organization is to help build a more prosperous and sustainable environment across the region.

My fellowship project with MORPC is to assist in the planning of EcoSummit 2012. EcoSummit will bring together scientists, engineers, policy makers and environmental groups in a weeklong international conference focusing on the renewal of ecosystem services. Last held in Beijing, China in 2007, the upcoming Fall 2012 EcoSummit will be the first of the conferences to be held in the United States. As part of MORPC ‘s  2012 planning team I spent my first week here researching ecosystem services and potential exhibitors and meeting with MORPC’s partners in planning EcoSummit, particularly representatives from the OSU Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park. As my fellowship progresses I will be recruiting exhibitors and sponsors from around the world and developing promotional materials.

My experience at MORPC thus far has been absolutely wonderful! The staff is comprised of passionate, dedicated (and as I was pleased to discover) extremely warm and welcoming people who made me feel right off the bat like valuable asset to their team. Although I’ll primarily be working on EcoSummit 2012, I’ve had several opportunities over the past week to sit in on and participate in meetings and committees which span MORPC’s many areas of concentration, so I’ve really been able to develop an understanding of MORPC’s work in the community and the region and what an important resource they are! I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to be working with them on EcoSummit 2012.  It is extremely exciting to be a part of this prestigious conference and I am so looking forward to being able to further collaborate with MORPC staff, OSU scientists and international companies and organizations in the creation of it. I truly believe that the bringing together of these great and powerful minds from across the globe, and the diffusion of ideas that will result from it will play a vital role in creating a more sustainable world.

Bailey-Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission

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