Chris Welter

Environmental Reporter

Chris Welter is an Environmental Reporter at WYSO through Report for America. In 2017, he completed the radio training program at WYSO's Eichelberger Center for Community Voices. Prior to joining the team at WYSO, he did boots-on-the-ground conservation work and policy research on land-use issues in southwest Ohio as a Miller Fellow with the Tecumseh Land Trust.

He is a graduate of Antioch College with a self-designed B.S. in Environmental Journalism and a French Language & Culture focus. He edited The Antioch Record and later served as chair of the newspaper's advisory board. Through the college's cooperative education program, he interned with an environmental education non-profit in Ypsilanti, MI and worked as a paralegal assistant at a criminal defense firm in Chicago and a bankruptcy center in Philadelphia.

Chris is a lifelong Ohioan, born and raised in Columbus and currently living in Yellow Springs with his two cats, Beaver and Franklin. He moonlights as a mediocre disc golfer and also loves to cook, hike, and read about Ohio history. 

Ways to Connect

Corn at Whitehall Farm in Yellow Springs
Chris Welter / WYSO

Due to heavy rains in late April, it’s been a late planting year for farmers in Ohio.

Jason Ward farms over 500 acres of organic crops in the Miami Valley. 

He planted late this year because of rain in April and early May. He says the ground was too moist and if he’d planted his seeds then they would have rotted in the ground. But, he says, he finished planting his fields about 10 days ago and now it needs some rain. 

A car near the intersection of Third and Whiteman Street in Xenia airs out after recent flooding.
Chris Welter / WYSO

On June 30, heavy rains hit Xenia, leading to flooding throughout much of the city.

The National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio says that two inches of rain fell on Xenia in less than eighty minutes. They say another resident recorded 1 inch of rainfall in just eighteen minutes.

Empty Field At Whitehall Farm
Chris Welter / WYSO

The 10 acres of sunflowers along Ohio State Route 68 outside of Yellow Springs won’t be planted this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Village of Donnelsville Government Center.
Chris Welter / WYSO

The US Environmental Protection Agency has started community interviews to obtain feedback regarding a contaminated aquifer in Clark County.  The public comment opportunity was moved to a digital format due to COVID-19 concerns.

The Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia.
Chris Welter / WYSO

Ohio Governor Mike Dewine announced this week that county fairs are now permitted to re-open, so long as Department of Health safety standards are met. Fair organizers say these county fairs are important — for both the economy and the sense of community in rural areas.

Faraday Technology, Inc. Headquarters In Englewood
Chris Welter / WYSO

A local engineering firm has received a new grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency. It’s intended to help them develop new technology that will hopefully aid in the removal of harmful man-made chemicals from the environment.

Property Adjacent To Proposed Mine
Chris Welter / WYSO

The trial in a lawsuit against a Clark County mining company will resume in late July. This comes after a four month delay due to the coronavirus.

Susan Smith, Glen Helen Ranger
Chris Welter / WYSO

A community non-profit is purchasing the Glen Helen Nature Preserve from Antioch College. 

The Glen Helen — a thousand-square-acre nature preserve in Yellow Springs — will soon be taken over by a community nonprofit.  The Glen Helen Association will assume ownership of the Glen when a deal with Antioch College is finalized later this summer.  The College has owned the Glen since 1929.

Volunteers pulling discarded tires from the Little Miami River.
Contributed / Little Miami River Watershed Network

Every year, the Little Miami River Watershed Network hosts a clean-up day, to collect some of the trash people have dumped into local waterways. This year, because of coronavirus, they’re doing their clean-up a bit differently.

The lower Miami Valley is like a bowl says Hope Taft. She’s the Chair of the Little Miami Watershed Network. She says all the water that drains into the Little Miami River, eventually drains into the Little Miami aquifer.