2022 In Review | Village Life
- Published: January 13, 2023
In January, the Glen Helen Association was awarded a $988,119 grant from the Clean Ohio Conservation fund. The grant, along with $125,000 in matching funds from the Village, was in part, directed to the demolition of the old Antioch College power plant and rehabilitation of the site into wetlands.
In June, the Glen announced it was awarded an additional $750,000 in Ohio state capital funds to improve accessibility for people with limited mobility on trails. The funds went toward the renovation, completion and creation of bridges and boardwalks in the Glen and for the nature preserve’s first American Disabilities Act, or ADA, compliant trail.
In October, after a few false starts, efforts to remove the 125-foot-tall, almost 100-year-old smokestack — a part of the decommissioned Antioch College power plant — proved successful when construction crews managed to pull down the structure.
In January, the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Community Peacemaker Award was presented posthumously to James A. McKee Association Director Karen McKee, who died in December 2021 after living with cancer for a year.
In February, the Yellow Springs News won “Newspaper of the Year” in its division forthe 12th year in a row at the Ohio News Media Association’s annual statewide competition for weekly newspapers.
In September, Teresa Bondurant was inducted into the Greene County Women’s Hall of fame in honor of women who have worked to make their communities better places to live. Bondurant is the manager of the Senior Center’s Homemaker program.
Agraria Center for Regenerative Practice held its annual Dogwood Festival on May 28 at the Agraria Farm. The event featured tours, a scavenger hunt, lawn games, music, a bonfire and a barn dance.
The 365 Project, in partnership with the organization Daughters of the Underground, a nonprofit organization dedicated to walking Underground Railroad routes across the country, celebrated Juneteenth with day-long events beginning with a 10-mile walk that began at the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce and ended when participants shared a Juneteenth-themed meal that included red velvet cake at the Bryan Center. The walk was a new addition to the celebrations. Juneteenth is traditionally celebrated on June 19.
The Village held its 11th annual YS Pride celebration on Saturday, June 23.
After an almost three-year, COVID-19-related hiatus, Street Fair returned to the village on Saturday, Oct. 8. The Chamber of Commerce estimated 20,000 visitors came to Yellow Springs to partake in the festivities.
Yellow Springs resident and Wright State University French professor Jean-Michel Lamoine’s fabled Harry Potter house returned as a village Halloween stop, delighting local trick-or-treaters with an immersive experience that evoked the world of the Harry Potter books and film series. The attraction reopened for the first time since shuttering in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Spiritual leadership transitions
Latoya Warren, a native of Dayton, was appointed to head the 185-year-old Yellow Springs United Methodist Church in August after the departure of Rick Jones, who had served as pastor since 2015.
In and around the village
During the winter months, villager and retired nurse Diana Castellano, donated hundreds of blankets to people affected by homelessness and at risk for being exposed to the harsh winter weather.
Florentina Rodriguez debuted The Yellow Springs Community Seed Library and offered vegetable, fruit and herb seeds to the public. The main seed Library was hosted at the YS Community Library and a traveling component operated at the Winter and Spring farmers markets in the village.
In early February, Antioch University humanities professor emeritus Jim Malarkey wrote a commentary that was published in the News called, “Don’t let Ukraine become a proxy war.” On Feb. 24, Russia, under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, invaded Ukraine. Since the invasion, the United States has sent nearly $50 billion in aid, with $22.9 billion spent on military aid.
In May, the village-based nonprofit Feminist Health Fund, which helps women around Greene County pay for a variety of health-related costs, issued an appeal for donations due to rising costs in health care. In June, the fund received a $12,600 grant from the giving group 100 Women Making a Difference in Greene County.
White privilege was the topic at a June “Community Colloquy,” sponsored by the Senior Center. Psychologists Judith Skillings and Frederick “Pete” Peterson discussed what white privilege is and isn’t and clarified what microaggressions mean.
The history of Black-owned restaurants and food establishments was the focus of a Blacks in Yellow Springs walking tour hosted by The 365 Project in August. Over 30 people attended the event — held inside because of threatening weather and presented by Yellow Springs High School student Gini Meekin. The tour culminated in a catered meal by local chef Locksley Orr.
A cheese making workshop organized by village local Sandy King, in partnership with Heartbeat Learning Gardens, brought internationally recognized Canadian cheesemaker David Asher to the area for a five-day workshop at Heartbeat in September. Around 20 participants from the village, region and around the country gathered to learn about cheesemaking through natural fermentation taught by Asher.
Agraria Center for Regenerative Practice’s third annual Black Farming Conference “Roots, Food and Storytelling” was held in September in partnership with Central State University and the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce. The conference was held both virtually and in person and featured keynote speakers the Rev. Dr. Heber Brown, a community organizer and founder of The Black Church Food Security Network and writer, educator, “culinary historian” and James Beard Foundation Book of the Year award winner Michael Twitty.
The three-decades-old holiday tradition of providing gift requests through the program “Share the Joy” returned in December at the public library. Tags containing items wished for by local families are selected by locals who in turn, provide the items to the family anonymously.
After 11 weeks of training, recent village resident Dan Robish was sworn in Dec. 7 as a new Peace Corps volunteer in Northern Macedonia.