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Integrated Learning-Living Communities

Exploring the Great Miami with BEES

By Barbara Heroy John

The first Europeans to explore the Miami Valley reported bison grazing near the Great Miami River.

This year’s students in the Business, Ethics and Environmental Sustainability (BEES) community have not spotted bison, but they have spotted some wildlife while rafting on the Little Miami River. BEES alums Kiley Tempert, Gage Maresca, and Kevin O’Donnell joined the first year students for the two hour float. The group also handled atlatls, tools for throwing long range spears, after a bike ride to Sunwatch (the Native American settlement on the Great Miami).

A guest lecture by local beekeeper Mike Pittman enabled the group to better understand the cohort’s mascot. The BEES also became acquainted with Dayton’s most famous entrepreneurs: the Patterson family (of National Cash Register fame) when they visited both the Patterson Homestead and the Carillon Historical Park, as well as the Wright brothers, visiting the Aviation Heritage Museum. This museum includes replicas of the Wright Brothers' ventures prior to their experiments with powered flight - bicycle and print shops.

The rarity of women in the Wright brothers’ commercial endeavors led the group to search for ‘Women in Aviation.’ Teams competed in a scavenger hunt at the U.S. Air Force Museum. The group was then brought up to date by a visit from Brigadier General Jeannie Leavitt, the first female fighter pilot and the first female squadron leader in the U.S. Air Force.

Pending trips in the spring include visits to the local water reclamation plant, the Stony Hollow landfill, Rumpke Recycling, the Ohio University composing facility and an organic farm.

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