SEARCH UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES
Prepared by Kim P. Sebaly and Kathleen M. E. Platz, October 1995; updated July 1997, April 2012
45 record storage boxes, 45 cubic feet, 11th floor
Kent State University Special Collections and Archives is the official depository of records of the Kent Environmental Council (KEC). The present collection (built largely from donations by Nancy and Walter Adams, Ruth Meade, Edith Chase, and Henry Tapp), documents the strong leadership and extensive volunteer work used to achieve KEC goals:
From its formal organization in January of 1970, to recent efforts to explore the meaning and developing pattern of sustainable living in Kent and the N.E. Ohio region, almost every aspect of KEC's work is documented in this collection.
Initially the "Clean Air and Water", subcommittee in the Kent Citizens for Progress "Plan of Action" (May 15, 1969), the KEC survived and evolved as a separate organization for Kent citizens to undertake a variety of environmental actions. In addition to numerous Cuyahoga River clean-up campaigns, and projects to extend and develop the Kent City park system, the KEC initiated recycling in Kent in 1970, and from 1979-89 managed Ohio's first comprehensive self-supporting recycling program. Environmental education has been pursued through workshops, public forums, publications, formal environmental education and recycling campaigns with the Kent City Schools and Kent State University. Its set of "Principles and Guidlines for Sustainable Kent" (1994) and "Transportation Week" (1995) are its most recent attempts to anticipate and take action on issues affecting the quality of life in the city and region.
During its first 25 years, the KEC has won numerous national, state and local awards for its volunteer based projects including one of four national awards in the Civic/Citizen category of the "Take Pride in America Campaign" (1986). It received substantial State of Ohio grants to help support the activities of the KEC sponsored Kent Recycling Center (1985-89). The establishment of the KEC Archives (1995), and encouragement of research on environmental education and community action, are among the latest steps taken by KEC to achieve its goals.
The KEC Records consist of documents related to pre-KEC local and regional planning groups, especially the Kent Citizens for Progress (1968-70) that evolved from the "Kent in 1980 Conference" March 29-30, 1968, sponsored by the League of Women Voters & the Record Courier newspaper. One major portion of the collection relates to the official meetings of the KEC, its task forces; and newsletters, project details, financial reports, memorabilia and awards, newsclippings and resource materials on environmental issues and education. The collection contains extensive documentation including photographs, site plans and volunteer lists of the Riveredge Park Development and Haymaker Park. Helena Cady Osborne's "Nature Notebook," donated to KEC at the dedication of Haymaker parkway (1993), contain photographs and written records of school children and girl scouts engaged in nature study and beautification projects in Kent (1928-1958).
The second major segment of the collection deals with the initiation of Kent's recycling program in 1970, and the management and operation of the Kent Recycling Center (KRC), 1979-89. The materials include extensive documentation of steering committee meetings, KRC equipment and operations, volunteer training projects, grant applications and correspondence with the Office of Litter Control and Recycling of the Ohio Bureau of Natural Resources, photographs, slides and scripts, newsclippings and awards.
The collection also includes a large collection of resource materials and news clippings (1970-85) related to environmental issues in Kent, Portage County, the N.E. Ohio region and the U.S. (Because of the fragile nature of newspaper, a xeroxing project will be undertaken as soon as funds permit). Newsletters and materials from other environmental groups in N.E. Ohio including the Ohio Environmental Council and the Ohio Alliance for Environmental Education and the region are also included. Because of the ongoing nature of KEC projects, and growing interest in interpreting the direction and impact of local interest groups in environmental action, collection development policies and guidelines for the KEC Records include the development of regional networks of environmental educators and project archives. Oral histories of KEC leaders and volunteers, and video and audio records of changing environmental conditions in Kent and its environs, are also being planned.
This box contains Helena Cady Osborne's Nature Note Book, Franklin Township, Kent, 1928-58. It is in the form of a scrapbook and includes journal entries, slides, photographs, correspondence and other memorabilia. The materials in this box were donated to KEC during the River Edge Park Project, 1993, by Mrs. Osborne's daughters, Jane and Mary Osborne, of Kent. Also included in this box is a paper "Questions Raised by the Life of Helena Cady Osborne" by Debra L. Clark, 1997.
Kent Executive Board meetings sometimes preceded or followed Steering Committee meetings on the same days. Records are included in folders with Steering Committee materials.