By 1808Delaware; City of Delaware

How much do you know about the largest river that flows through Delaware County?

The Olentangy River was originally called keenhongsheconsepung, a Delaware word literally translated as “sharp tool river,” based on the shale found along its shores. Early settlers to the region translated this into “Whetstone River”. In 1833, the Ohio General Assembly passed legislation intending to restore the original Native American names to some Ohio waterways, but mistakenly gave Whetstone River the name “Olentangy”—Delaware for “river of the red face paint”—which had actually belonged to what is now known as Big Darby Creek.

These days, the Olentangy can get a bit messy, and from time to time some sprucing up is in order.

On Saturday, August 22, Public Utilities and Keep Delaware County Beautiful are partnering to host the City’s Annual Olentangy River Clean-up from 9:30 AM to noon at Mingo Park.

*Pre-registration is required and can be completed by emailing the Watershed & Sustainability Coordinator, Caroline Cicerchi, at No walk-ups will be accepted unless space is available.*

Due to COVID-19, registration is limited to two groups of ten participants. To stagger check-in times, group A will check-in at 9:30 AM and group B will check-in at 10 AM. Face masks are required during check-in and when a social distance of 6 feet cannot be maintained. Please include your check-in time preference when registering. Registrations will be accepted until August 19, or until spots are filled.

Participants under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Close-toed shoes must be worn. In the event on unsafe river levels or severe weather the event will be cancelled. Clean-up supplies and bottled water will be provided.

Photo: Creative Commons License

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