WYSO

Renee Wilde

Community Voices Producer

Renee Wilde tumbled into public radio - following a career path that has been full of creative adventures and community service. After graduating from the Ohio State University with a fine arts degree in photography - she served as the Exhibitions Coordinator for several Columbus art galleries and the Columbus Art League, while simultaneously slinging food and booze  - memorably dropping a glass of orange juice on Johnny Rotten’s bare feet when he answered the hotel room door in just his skivvies (his response, “would shit be the appropriate word?”).

Renee moved on to create the first recycling program for the arts in the midwest in Columbus, Ohio -  based on similar programs in New York and LA - where artists, galleries, non-profit arts organizations, and public art teachers could shop in a warehouse filled with free discarded materials from local businesses. From there Renee went on to develop a city-wide urban beautification program for Columbus, creating seasonal and year-round botanical displays in street containers, hanging baskets and pocket parks along downtown streets.

After leaving the city for rural life on a small farm, Renee heard about the Community Voices program on her local public radio station. She was accepted into the program (class of 2013) and at the age of 49, started another career adventure when she became hooked on audio storytelling. Renee produced 23 stories on her own, co-produced an award winning series, and provided a weekly community on-air spot all as an unpaid producer before the station developed a fund for freelance reporters.

As a station volunteer, she taught storytelling at a women’s prison with WYSO’s former News Director, Lewis Wallace. Renee combined the stories from the incarcerated women into her very first attempt at an hour-long documentary, which won first place for best long form documentary in 2017 by the Public Radio News Directors, Inc.

Renee also had the top highest ranking stories on WYSO.org in 2017 with two pieces she produced for YSO Curious -which is based on the Hearken Model where listeners ask questions and producers find the answers.

Her stories have been bought by the NPR news programs All Things Considered and Morning Edition, Harvest Public Media, 51%, WAMC’s Northeast Public radio, WABE in Atlanta, Georgia, KSJD in Cortez, Colorado and WOUB in Athen’s, Ohio

Renee now helms County Lines for WYSO - a series that takes listeners into the small towns and rural communities of Ohio - which is also available through Ohio Public Radio and the NPR ONE app.

The Emerald Ash Borer is dramatically changing the landscape of area parks.
Michigan State University David Cappaert / US Department of Agriculture

It’s smaller than your thumbnail, but the destruction it can cause is huge. The shiny green Emerald Ash Borer is a beetle native to Asia and Russia. It has been traveling from state to state, catching rides on firewood, and then settling in to eat away at the Ash Tree.

The Greene County Parks and Trails department is currently cutting down 3,000 dead Ash Trees which have been killed by this insect. That’s going to dramatically change this part of Ohio. And no one knows this better than two naturalists who work there.

via Hartman Rock Garden

Hidden in a quiet neighborhood in Springfield, Ohio, lies a folk-art gem called the Hartman Rock Garden, named after its creator and local resident, Ben Hartman.

Hartman was a rock hound and he would use the rocks that he collected from the area to make concrete and stone replicas of historic buildings. He made so many structures that eventually he transformed his entire backyard into a fantastic landscape of miniature buildings and figurines.

Community Voices Producer Renee Wilde brings us the story of how Ben Hartman turned his obsession into a National Folk-Art site.

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