Skip to main content

Rivers Institute

Welcome to the Rivers Institute

Our initiative brings key partners in the Greater Dayton community together to promote, preserve and protect our watershed. Students, faculty and staff work with community members, stakeholders, and local organizations to build community around our rivers. We focus on promoting learning and undergraduate research. Our multifaceted projects bring both the University and the Dayton community to the river.

Learn about our River Stewards and apply now >

The 2020 cohort of River Stewards is pleased to present Into the River. A children’s book geared for 3rd graders, Into the River takes you on an adventure through the Great Miami River. On this page, you will find the book and activities to take your own journey into the river. The creation of this story was a journey in itself.

The writing process began in the fall of 2019 with a series of community engagement events. The Stewards met with watershed leaders, talked with educators, and listened to children. Workshops asked children to draw their favorite memories on the river and to write about those memories. Their words inspired the narrative and their artwork can be found throughout the book. Community visioning events informed the landmarks, lessons, and literary elements included in Into the River.

In the spring of 2020, the Stewards worked collaboratively to write the book and utilized the artistic talents within the cohort. This result was an inventive piece of fiction that incorporates local landmarks, fundamental watershed education, and native species. After seeking and securing grant funding, the Stewards sent — copies to print. These copies will complement RiverMobile education and be distributed to local libraries and schools.

In addition to the print copies, Into the River is available digitally. Please enjoy and share the digital version of the book from this link. To complement the book or a trip through the RiverMobile, a variety of STEM and art activities have been prepared. Enjoy these activities with your trip into the river! Order a copy of the book here.

This book was made possible through the generous support of the Miami Conservancy District, Five Rivers MetroParks, the City of Dayton’s Department of Water, Division of Environmental Management, and the University of Dayton.

In the News
University of Dayton Rivers Institute students publish a children's book as senior capstone project

The 2020 cohort of University of Dayton River Stewards created a children’s book, Into the River, to inspire children’s literacy and educate local youth about the importance of rivers in the greater Dayton area.

Read this College blog story
UD students sleep out to show support for pipeline protest

Students recently slept in solidarity with protesters in Standing Rock ND concerning the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

Dayton Daily News story >

What the River Knows

National Geographic highlighted the City of Dayton, the Great Miami River, Five Rivers Fountain of Lights and the River Stewards in their blog Water Current on Nov. 1, 2016.

Read Article (www) >>

Our Strategic Plan

Planning for the future of the Great Miami River watershed

Learn more about how our vision, our mission and our goals influence and enhance regional natural resources.

Read More
Video: River Stewards

Engaging with our natural resources.

See how the University of Dayton Rivers Stewards are getting involved in the Miami Valley's groundwater resource.


Rivers Institute

300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1480