Come out of the cold to get warm with the friendly Herb Guild Garden Club at a "Brown Bag Lunch & Movie Day" on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 12:15 p.m., at Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road. Begin "thinking spring" with a delightful horticultural inspired flick, the presentation of exciting and varied speakers/programs for 2015, and welcoming conversation with fellow gardeners. The business meeting begins at 10 a.m. Dessert and beverage provided by the Herb Guild membership.
Nature & Environment
Susan Fabian of Bay Village captured this scene of a frozen Lake Erie from Huntington Beach.
Lawns throughout Bay Village are looking quite a bit tidier and ready for winter this week thanks to 110 volunteers who gave of themselves on a chilly Sunday in November. The Village Project would like to thank all of the Bay Village residents who so generously supported its first yard clean-up fundraiser on Nov. 9.
The response was overwhelming and gratifying. The residents of 55 homes participated in the fundraiser by having their yards raked, weeded and mulched by the volunteer crews in exchange for donations to Village Project. The organization earned a total of $4,500 in donations which will help it continue its work of providing nourishing meals and extended care and service to local residents who are experiencing cancer.
The recent yucky, soupy, green glop in Lake Erie near Toledo caused by large blooms of toxin‑carrying algae that contaminated potable water certainly is a wake‑up call. Our watersheds, our rivers, streams and wetlands need protection before it’s too late.
How is the City of Westlake improving storm water runoff, urban runoff and nonpoint source pollution before it reaches Lake Erie? Are you familiar with the Cahoon and Columbia Creek Wetland Restoration Project or the Southbridge Retention Basin? What are White Amur fish and what do they do? And most importantly, what can we do to help?
As Aristotle observed, “In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.” Everyone knows that the aesthetic beauty of flowers and plants is soothing and healing and elevates the mood of the beholder.
The Village Project’s headquarters in Bay Village recently became a grateful recipient of just such an uplifting gift, courtesy of Maple Leaf Landscaping – lovely, bright, outdoor plantings of mums and other seasonal plants which surround the building on West Oviatt Road.
Julia Shutt of Maple Leaf Landscaping said that her goal with the design was to create a “season of bloom,” with colorful, low maintenance plants that will provide color and bloom in spring, as well as fall.
Let's celebrate together autumn in all its splendor at The Herb Guild Garden Club's Wednesday, Oct. 8, meeting and program at Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road. This month's featured program, "Putting Your Garden to Bed: Fall Garden Chores That Make a Difference" by Mary Alice Mastrovito will cover the fall garden chores that make a difference to your gardens longevity, health and success.
Psssst ... to let you in on a little personal secret, if asked for a quote to describe a favorite facet of fall, it would have to be, “There’s no such thing as too many mums.”
Choosing from rows of colors, bloom sizes, styles, and shapes from local nurseries or other flower purveyors can be overwhelming.
While mums are plentiful at nurseries this time of year, mums pushed in carts or hand-carried by smiling customers to waiting cashiers are also spotted at area grocery stores, and it doesn’t stop there. One local hardware store has sported a great-looking outdoor display of rather large, symmetrical specimens suitable for planters on the porch, or for an extra lush landscape display.
Few, if any, property owners think it’s acceptable to dump tires, machine parts, plastics and other unnatural trash into our waterways. But many still believe it’s okay to deposit organic material like leaves and grass onto a streambank, in a storm drain, or into the stream itself. Well, when it comes to stream dumping, even organic doesn’t “cut it.”
Many leaves will naturally fall into the water, but as homeowners, we should be mindful not to upset nature’s balance. Leaves, grass clippings and pet waste should never be dumped in or even next to a creek, ditch or pond.
Westlake was all abloom again this summer as gardeners across the city took to the soil in hopes of winning the annual planting contest. Westlake in Bloom, the community beautification program that began with planting day on May 17, concluded Aug. 13 with an awards ceremony at LaCentre.
More than 300 entrants competed in 23 categories, varying in scale from expansive business landscaping all the way down to residential window box gardens. As in years past, the judging panel included master gardeners, a past Bloom winner and a couple of amateur gardeners. Plaques were awarded for the top three finishers in each category, with the first-place winners receiving $25 gift certificates to one of Westlake’s four garden centers.
Evergreen Cemetery Fence Gardens
First Place: In Memory of Stanley and Dixie Dean
Second Place: The Eberling Family
Third Place: The Endress Family
Honorable Mention: The Coe, Barry, Ward and Hull Families
Hilliard Boulevard Flower Box
Best of the Boxes: Dover Congregational Church
First Place: King James Homeowners
Second Place: The Freeh Family
Third Place: Earth Laughs in Flowers (Barbara Munch)
Honorable Mention: Early Childhood P.T.A.
Hospice of the Western Reserve, a nonprofit agency caring for more than 7,000 patients annually in the Northern Ohio region, became the first hospice in the United States to earn two national health care environmental awards from Practice Greenhealth, a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting environmental stewardship in the health care sector. The agency's Ames Family Hospice House in Westlake earned an "Emerald Award" while its David Simpson Hospice House on Cleveland's east side lakefront, built in 1995, received a "Partner for Change Award."
The City of Westlake and St. John Medical Center have teamed up to develop a community garden on the medical center campus. The garden allows citizens to use a 12-foot by 4-foot plot to grow their own food and/or donate their harvest to those who don’t normally have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
A blessing and ribbon cutting to officially open the community garden took place on Wednesday, July 2.
“Community gardens bring people closer to nature, help children understand where their food comes from, encourages self-reliance, conserves resources and reduces family food budgets,” says Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough.
Community gardens have health benefits, too. “They provide access to healthy and nutritious food, promote physical activity and improve social well-being by strengthening social connections,” says William Young, President and CEO of St. John Medical Center.
The 2014 Westlake in Bloom community beautification program got underway May 17 on a gloomy Saturday with the traditional Planting Day at the flower boxes along Hilliard Boulevard. Westlake City Council has two boxes that were bedded with white begonias surrounding licorice splash plants, forming a ‘W’. The council planting crew included (pictured, left to right): councilman Nick Nunnari and his wife, Alice; councilman Michael O’Donnell; council president Michael Killeen; councilman Mark Getsay; and councilmember Lynda Appel.
Come late September, the last hardy summer blooms will deliver a resplendent season’s finale, outperforming fragile floral specimens and making way for the rich tapestry of autumn’s asters and mums. So why contemplate September now?
Let’s face it. Summer is fleeting. Although it officially arrives on June 21, by the time the July Fourth fireworks fizzle and their sulfuric haze fades into the humid night sky, it’s practically Labor Day. Savor summer while you may. Slow down. Take time to “stop and smell the roses,” figuratively or literally.
Normandy Elementary students and staff have been rerouting their apple cores, banana peels and orange rinds for the past eight months to make compost for your garden! Last year, thanks to a grant from The Village Foundation, Normandy purchased a 209-gallon composter. Students and staff place their fruit and vegetable scraps in small green buckets which are located throughout the school.
At the end of each day, a staff member empties the buckets into the large composter and gives it a turn to allow for mixing and air flow. In the fall, the students collected brown leaves to add to the composter to help balance the greens and browns which are necessary for making compost.
Set your calendar for return of the Spring Green Garden Show. The Bay Village Green Team hosts the only local event focused on a sustainable city at the Bay Community Garden. Walk, ride or drive to the corner of Wolf and Forestview roads on Saturday, May 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Spring Green Garden Show is free, family-friendly and promotes organic gardening, buying local, sustainable energy and watershed concerns. Experience the beauty of the community garden! Meet your local Green Team and members of the Village Bicycle Cooperative. Ask our volunteers what they have been doing to improve air, water and our city – including the new bike ordinances, improving our recycle efforts, and what zero waste is all about. Find out if your business or organizations can hold zero waste fund raisers.
More than a dozen people braved the rain and chilly temperatures on Friday, April 25, to celebrate Arbor Day and the planting of a tree by the Westlake Garden Club. A Concolor Fir tree was planted at the Founders’ Walk in Clague Park again this year.
This is the third Concolor Fir the garden club has planted at this location. At a recent meeting of the garden club, President Regina McCarthy stated that the club has planted a tree almost every year of its 50 years existence, to which a club member remarked, “that would be a forest!”
Ohio State University Extension and Master Gardeners of Cuyahoga County Inc. announced registration is open for the 2014 Master Gardener Basic Training Class.
The OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program is open to any interested individual. It costs $250, with scholarships, payment plans and sliding fees available. Classes begin Aug. 25 and continue through Oct. 29 on Monday and Wednesday evenings.
The Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is looking for five high school students with an avid interest in the natural sciences, especially earth science, biology, botany and environmental studies, who would like to spend a week at the fun and educational Ohio Forestry and Wildlife Conservation Camp from June 8-13.
Cuyahoga SWCD is offering up to five scholarships for this week-long camp help at Camp Muskingum in Carroll County. Students must be 15 years of age by June 2014 and have completed eighth grade. Interested students are encouraged to download the scholarship application from www.cuyahogaswcd.org and return it by May 9. Scholarships will be awarded by May 16. When notified of acceptance, health forms and a detailed registration form will be mailed to the applicant. At that time a $25 deposit will be required. Total camp fee is $325 so scholarship awardees will be getting a $300 discount on a fabulous camp.
As I am writing this article today, the temperature has reached 50 degrees, the sun is shining and the ice is melting. There is actually a promise of spring in the air. Many of you gardeners have likely been perusing the seed and plant catalogs received in the mail and thinking and planning what to do with your gardens this year.
We hope your thinking and planning includes entering the Westlake in Bloom program again or maybe for the first time. Entry forms will be available mid-April at Cahoon Nursery, Dean’s Greenhouse, Gale’s Westlake Garden Center and Plant Crafters, or at City Hall and on the city’s website at www.cityofwestlake.org.
An emaciated snowy owl rescued by the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center on Jan. 16 was released back into the wild on Feb. 19 at Spitzer Marina in Lorain by Amy LeMonds, the Center’s director of wildlife.
While being cared for at the Center, LeMonds said the owl was thoroughly examined and didn’t appear to be suffering from any other injuries. “We provided the animal much-needed nutrition, delivered medication and allowed time for healing and recovery. We’re very pleased with how well the Snowy has done and are anxious to allow it to return to the wild.”
[NOTE: The date of the fundraiser has been changed to March 1]
The Lake Erie Green Team is back in action and ready to help. We are having a hot cocoa fundraiser. The money is going to the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. The fundraiser is going to be on Saturday, March 1. It is from 2:30-3:30 p.m. at 544 Kenilworth Road in Bay Village.
The whole fundraiser is run by the Lake Erie Green Team. The Lake Erie Green Team is an environmental program to teach people that we are the things that save or hurt the Earth. You can check us out at www.lakeeriegreenteam.weebly.com.
When the “winter blahs” set in, somewhere around the end of January, you may start thinking about something to do, something to get you out of the house and spark your interests. Why not consider attending a meeting of the Westlake Garden Club?
The club’s first meeting of 2014 is Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 11 a.m. at Westlake Porter Public Library. The general meeting is followed by lunch and an interesting program on “Nature Journaling.” If you have thought about starting a journal to record activity in your garden/yard, please join us to explore the many ways of starting and keeping a nature journal. No special skills are needed, just an interest in watching and recording nature evolve as the seasons change.
A snowy owl was rescued from the basement of a commercial building in Lorain the morning of Thursday, Jan. 16.
A citizen discovered the bird when they were exploring water leaks in the basement. The area has old access points and chutes that would have allowed the bird to enter, but not necessarily exit, the building.
Amy LeMonds, director of wildlife at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, responded to the call and was able to safely rescue the owl. Her initial assessment of the animal, performed in the Center’s rehabilitation facility, showed that the bird is extremely weak and emaciated. No signs of trauma have been noted at this time.
Hospice of the Western Reserve announced that its new 40,000-square foot patient care center in Westlake, Ames Family Hospice House, has been awarded LEED Gold certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
Ames Family Hospice House achieved LEED Gold certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. By using less energy and water, LEED certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.
Bay residents participate in watershed health project
Storm drains are located along each street and in many driveways and parking lots. Any water or material entering a storm drain ends up flowing directly into local streams and then Lake Erie. This is in contrast to your sanitary system which carries sewage and used water from your home or office building to a water treatment plant.
In April 2011, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative project “A Holistic Watershed Approach to Health at Huntington Beach” began. The project runs for three years and is a collaborative effort which includes the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District, University of Toledo, Cleveland Metroparks, Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, and the cities of Bay Village and Westlake. The project is focused on improving recreational water quality at Huntington Beach by identifying potential pollution sources within the Porter Creek watershed.
On Sept. 18, 170 people gathered at Westwood Country Club to support the Westlake Garden Club and help celebrate their 50th anniversary. What follows is a history of the club compiled from recollections of past presidents and a charter member.
In September 1963, an article appeared in the newspaper reporting that a garden club was being formed in Westlake. Lillian Bialosky’s youngest child had started school so it was perfect timing for her to join the newly formed Westlake Garden Club, and she is still a member today. The new club wasted no time in getting involved in community activities. Lillian spearheaded a project with the Westlake Cuyahoga County School for Retarded Children.
She and other club members regularly visited the school to teach garden crafts and plant flowers and bulbs. The children and teachers looked forward to these visits because each child made something unique to take home. In 1970, Lillian and the Westlake Garden Club were recognized with an award from the Garden Club of Ohio for their involvement in this project. The club was also named Garden Club of the Year by the Garden Club of Ohio.
BAYarts' annual Moondance fundraising event on Sept. 14 was a lovely evening of delicious food and beverage, lively music and relaxing fellowship. It was attended by 1,200 guests.
This year’s Moondance was also a “zero waste” event. Amazingly 98 percent of all of the event waste was either composted or recycled!
Behind the scenes preparation made this zero-waste event possible. In working with all of the caterers, BAYarts staff and Bay Village Green Team members made sure that all items used for food service were fully compostable. This meant that all of the “trash” generated from food and beverage waste was in fact compostable.
Water. It keeps us alive, cools us down, gets us clean, provides sport and recreation, and more. It also adds ambiance and cheer to gardens as a water feature. Fountains, ponds, creeks, even lakes were put into English gardens. I can't fit a lake on my balcony, so I went with my second choice and made myself a fountain.
The initial idea came from an excellent little book, "A Creative Step-by-Step Guide to the Small Garden," by Sue Phillips and Neil Sutherland. In the book were instructions for a water feature in a tub; what follows is the general idea, plus my own modifications and where to actually find the stuff. (Isn't that always the way it is? You find a great display, picture or directions, but no instructions on where to find any of it? It's maddening.)
The resident woodchuck of Lake Erie Nature & Science Center wasn’t too cooperative when Susan Ballard stopped by for a photograph. He really should have been more appreciative as, thanks to her hard work and that of over 2,513 local readers, his care and feeding will be sponsored for 2.5 years.
Ballard, children’s librarian at the Bay Village Branch Library, led the readers in a challenge to log 18,000 hours of reading this summer. If they did, she told them, the Friends of the Bay Village Library would adopt the woodchuck and support its care. Not only did residents meet that goal, they surpassed it by 610 hours.
Mark your calendar!
Saturday, Sept. 7, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Donate your usable furniture, building materials, fixtures, tools and yard items! Drop-off is at the Bay Village Police Department parking lot, 28000 Wolf Road. If you have large items, you can also arrange for home pick-up by contacting Habitat directly at 216-429-3631. Arranged by Habitat for Humanity and the Bay Village Green Team.
If plants are the fabric of a garden, then ornaments are most certainly the stitching holding it together. Statuary, rocks and metal work act as anchors for a garden to grow around – and on, in some instances – and bring an extra something to the overall feel and style of the garden.
There are many options in accessorizing one's garden, of course, each working well in different instances, but I find two of the very best to be ornament as grand focal point or hidden surprise.
The grand focal point is fairly self-explanatory, something usually large, usually prominent, and usually both. These are the objects one can see from a distance, maybe even from outside the garden itself. They can be functional, like a trellis, or purely for decoration, like a statue. The idea is to make a statement, to draw the eye and the feet, to lead the viewer to an area, or to offer a satisfying end point to a path, walk or end point in the garden.
The next time you stop by the Bay Village Community Garden, check out the newly designed sign garden at the corner of Forestview and Wolf roads.
The Bay Village Community Garden promotes local, home grown foods – it allows families to grow healthy, organic fresh vegetables and herbs and inspires a sense of community. The Community Garden, which is managed by the Bay Village Green Team, has over 120 plots in use; most are rented by Bay residents to grow food for their table. There are also plots that are provided free to social justice groups, including the Village Project. The Village Project raises fresh vegetables and herbs to be used to supply cancer patients and their families with a healthy meal cooked by community volunteers.
A war over roses was waged; we fought long and hard, that mold and I, over those two little rose bushes. Mold is a black-hearted knave, it fights with a cloak and dagger. It encroached upon my rose bushes, and overtook their leaves.
It preyed first on one then spread to the other; I overtook it before it completely overran them both, but lo! it was too late. My spraying, my pruning, my tears and triumphs, all for naught. I routed the enemy, and sent it retreating back from whence it came. But my rose, oh, my poor little rose, it did not long bask in the glory of victory, before it shuffled off this mortal coil.
I did pause, for now I had but one consolation, for one rose did yet survive. I vowed no mold would further encroach upon it. To my own word, was I true, and yet! 'twas not enough, for no sooner had I been done congratulating myself on a defense well-made than a new arrow appeared on the horizon.
Effective immediately, Bay residents can recycle cardboard cartons (such as milk and juice containers) and plastics No. 3-7 in addition to plastics No. 1 and 2. Please place these items in your green recycle cart to be recycled curbside.
Plastic containers labeled with the recycle symbol No. 1 through 7 are accepted. The plastics must be food, beverage, soap, or detergent containers only – no plastic flower pots, plastic toys, etc. Containers should be emptied, no need to rinse. Caps should be removed.
Lake Erie Nature & Science Center received a $2,000 contribution to the Center’s “Alive with Learning for All” campaign from the Bay Kiwanis Club in June.
The campaign will be used to fund renovation of the Center’s educational program areas and build the endowment. Bay Kiwanis decided to direct their gift to the planetarium, which will be transformed with a new digital projection system for full dome learning experiences.
“Bay Kiwanis’ gift will allow us to utilize astounding advances in digital technology in our space and space science programs,” said Executive Director Catherine Timko. “Our Planetarium staff members are understandably excited about the capabilities of the systems we have reviewed.”
Bay Kiwanis President-elect Rhonda Schneider and Community Services Committee Chairman Jim Potter chose to support the Planetarium because of its impact on members of the community.
A few weeks ago I was taking a walk. About halfway through the walk my dad told me to look below me and I found a wet, shaking baby bird. I wanted to help the bird but I didn't know how so I continued on my walk hoping when I got back its parents would find it.
Sadly, when I got back the bird was still there. After a while of watching, it a man that worked next door gave me and my dad a box to scoop the bird into. We pushed the bird in then took it to a sunny spot. The bird sat in the box for a long time.
With the railing boxes complete, it was time to turn the spotlight on the walls ... the barren, barren walls. Also made of concrete or brick, they were in need of some TLC, ASAP. Last year I took advantage of a clearance sale at Petitti's and got a great deal on two black metal planters. They have the option of using on a railing or a wall, and I used one for the stage left railing already. I planted it with snapdragons, ivy, celosia (cockcomb) and a little ground cover plant whose name I forgot but it was just so cute I had to have it (there's more than one reason to buy a plant).
The other I decided to mount on the stage right wall, with the intention of growing climbing nasturtium up it. Said wall is cement, so I used a masonry drill bit, which are available at hardware stores. I find it easiest to make a smaller starter hole and then increase the size of the drill bit until I have the proper hole circumference, as it does take longer to drill through cement than wood!
This past week, my mom came over to visit and I took the opportunity to show off my garden. I highly recommend you show yours off as often as possible, preferably with someone who knows a thing or two about gardening.
I was proudly giving the tour, displaying my box of herbs, my box of lavender, talking about my plans for the rose box, and happily gesturing around while prattling about other ideas. My mom was still looking at the herb box, obviously admiring how quickly they were growing, especially the peppermint.
The Bay Village Green Team was established in fall 2007, when Mayor Debbie Sutherland invited several local experts to present sustainability ideas to a group of Bay residents, and from that the Green Team was formed. The Bay Village Green Team is recognized as being one of the most active community green teams in Cuyahoga County.
On May 20, members of the Green Team were invited to share details about their mission, past accomplishments and upcoming projects with Bay Village City Council. We appreciate the City's support and thought others in the community may be interested in hearing about the group.
The Green Team’s mission is to "improve the quality of life by decreasing our city’s environmental footprint. Our vision is for Bay Village to become a model sustainable community for current and future residents.”