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Mirror Lake Renovations at Ohio State
Restorations Will Return Mirror Lake to a Sustainable State

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The renovated Mirror Lake, located on the Ohio State University's campus in Columbus, was designed with input from students, faculty and staff to be safer and more sustainable.


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Water has returned to Mirror Lake.


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The renovated Mirror Lake, located on the Ohio State University's campus in Columbus, was designed with input from students, faculty and staff to be safer and more sustainable.


Construction of the centerpiece of the historic Mirror Lake District started in late 2016. The lake has remained largely empty since then - filled with backhoes and construction workers. That's changing.

Work crews continue to install walkways, add landscaping and refine some of the features surrounding the new Mirror Lake. Now the area looks more like the iconic campus location that it was and less like a construction site. An opening date in mid-August is expected.

"I think the biggest change in my mind is it is going to look a lot more open than it did before. We've pulled some of the perimeter planting back and we'll be planting the lake edge. It will have a much softer edge," said University landscape architect Steve Volkmann.

Volkmann said one of the improvements that has him most excited about the renovated Mirror Lake is the increase in seating. New benches, overlooks and terraces with scarlet Adirondack chairs will encircle the area.

A technology upgrade will see Wi-Fi access throughout the district and could allow students to study or faculty to teach in the area.

"The new plant material provides a habitat that will be great for pollinators. From that standpoint it will be a much more sustainable landscape. We are just really providing better habitat than we did before," said Volkmann.
The new lake is shallower and has sloping edges that will be covered with native plant material, contributing to a safer environment as well.

"With the founding of the university it used to be just a stream that ran through here. It was originally a bog," Volkmann stated. "But over the years, the lake changed. As the university developed, Mirror Lake changed shape and size. The most recent change is that of a brick bottom with stonewalls. That's what everybody was most familiar with but that wasn't really [Mirror Lake's] origins. With this redesign we're moving it back towards its original condition."

This article was republished with express written permission from a representative of Ohio State University and can be read in full on their webpage HERE.







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August 21, 2018, 12:37 pm PDT

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