Nature & Environment

Bay Village Green Team's garden show promotes sustainability

With weather warming up, it's time for gardeners to enjoy the season. To get gardeners primed for their planting, the Bay Village Green Team hosted a sustainable gardening event at the Bay Community Garden, located on the corner of Wolf and Forestview roads, on May 18. 

The Spring Green Garden Show, a family-friendly event promoting organic gardening and other green home and yard ideas, had displays from local organizations and businesses focusing on organic lawn and garden care, sustainable landscape design and organic gardening products.

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Volume 5, Issue 11, Posted 7:09 PM, 05.20.2013

Parkside students illustrate the importance of trees

The first annual Arbor Day poster contest was held April 26 at Parkside Intermediate School with 95 fifth-graders submitting outstanding posters to be entered in the contest. Each poster included artwork and a paragraph of 150 words or less explaining "why trees are important to the City of Westlake."

The contest was sponsored by the Westlake Tree Commission in conjunction with Westlake's 22nd consecutive annual designation as a Tree City USA. The students illustrated on their posters the many ways trees are important and why trees should be preserved and protected in their city. The posters were then judged by myself and fellow Tree Commission members Margie Rossander, John Walz and Diane Morris as well as Stan Barnard, urban forestry manager for the City of Westlake, and Paul Quinn III, Westlake's service director.

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Volume 5, Issue 9, Posted 10:16 AM, 04.30.2013

Spring Green Garden Show coming to Bay on May 18

The Bay Village Green Team is hosting sustainable gardening event at the Bay Community Garden, located on the corner of Wolf and Forestview roads, on May 18, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Spring Green Garden Show is a free, family-friendly event promoting organic gardening and other green ideas for your home. Visitors will have a chance to experience the beauty of the community garden and meet the Bay Village Green Team volunteers.

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Volume 5, Issue 9, Posted 10:16 AM, 04.30.2013

Bay residents can celebrate Arbor Day with a free tree

The Bay Village Green Team has obtained 10 Eastern Redbud (Tennessee Pink variety) trees to plant for Bay residents. The trees are approximately three feet tall and will be provided to the first 10 Bay residents who contact Dan Krieg at 440-808-0429. The trees are free, although donations are appreciated. Any donations will be used to purchase more trees for future plantings. And, Bay Village Green Team volunteers will plant the tree for you free of charge!

Last year, residents and city leaders graciously volunteered their yards and Green Team members were able to plant over 30 seedling trees. This year, the Eastern Redbuds that are available will grow into a flowering yard feature that aids in beautifying our neighborhoods, improving the diversity of our woodlands and controlling storm water runoff. These trees are expected to leaf out over this summer. Brotzman's Nursery in Madison, Ohio, sourced the affordable Eastern Redbuds this year and offered them at cost ($16/tree) to the Green Team.

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Volume 5, Issue 8, Posted 11:11 AM, 04.16.2013

Habitat for Humanity donation drop-off at BVPD May 4

The Bay Village Green Team has arranged a local drop-off for Habitat for Humanity on Saturday, May 4, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Bay Village Police Department parking lot, 28000 Wolf Road. You can donate any usable household items, both indoor and outdoor items. Just about anything from your home is accepted as long as it is in good, workable condition.

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Volume 5, Issue 8, Posted 10:43 AM, 04.16.2013

The concrete chronicles, part II: Composition

Four weeks ago, flush with excitement and ready for anything, I sallied forth into garden centers and drove by nurseries, eager to begin the transformation of my concrete balcony slab into an urban oasis. Tragically, the early springtime weather – being the horrid, disobliging thing it is – thwarted my plans: There were no plants to be had and no work could be done. I couldn't even console myself with painting flower pots due to the cold. What to do? I immersed myself in the idea of my perfect garden.

Last time, we (hopefully) figured out what we liked and the kind of garden best suited to our personal tastes. I decided on the classic English garden, I found when designing a garden along a specific genre (in this case, English), a good place to start is with the question "What makes an English garden an English garden?" Thus armed, and with a rudimentary idea (an English garden has clipped hedges and rose bushes, and ... tea tables? I was a little hazy on the details), I gathered some books on the subject and got to researching.

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Volume 5, Issue 8, Posted 10:42 AM, 04.16.2013

Wet, wild and out-of-this-world summer camps at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center

There’s an entire universe of fun for families at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center this summer. From sunny versions of our popular year-round programs to new themed day camps and family/group activities, there are opportunities for all ages to learn or try something new!

Wet programs, like "Beach Bash!" and "A River Runs Through Us" send campers to Huntington Beach or nearby Porter Creek in the morning to learn about the properties of water. Then they spend the afternoon creating water-themed pottery, art or sculpture at our neighbor and partner-in-fun BAYarts.

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Volume 5, Issue 8, Posted 10:41 AM, 04.16.2013

Nature center staffer achieves important milestone

Alexis Schierman of Lake Erie Nature & Science Center in Bay Village is the second rehabilitator at the Center and in the state of Ohio to earn a Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator distinction from the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council. Schierman joined the nonprofit Center in 2012, working with Director of Wildlife Rehabilitation Amy LeMonds, who earned the certification in 2011.

“The fact that Alexis chose to work toward this certification within her first year in the profession speaks volumes about her dedication and her promise in the years to come,” said LeMonds. “She is an ideal example of the high standard of excellence Lake Erie Nature & Science Center strives to provide to our community, as the recent renovation of our onsite Wildlife Rehabilitation facility will attest.” In 2012, the nonprofit center completed a campaign to create more space for animal examination and care, greater storage and access to technology and improved lighting and ventilation.

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Volume 5, Issue 5, Posted 9:57 AM, 03.05.2013

The concrete chronicles, part I: Conundrum

With spring less than a month away, I recently looked out my window, and eagerly searched for any signs of the upcoming change in season. But alas! My eyes fell instead upon my balcony, in all of its sorry state: three brown plants in pots, the rest of the plants most likely dead.

Upon this viewing, I came across a common conundrum: Many of us have a sad spot in our yards that can't be fixed with a handful of grass seed flung during a commercial break. Either the grass just won't grow, or it can't be planted at all. My issue is the latter, for my balcony is one large concrete slab. So this year, I decided to do something about it, and create an urban garden.

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Volume 5, Issue 5, Posted 9:48 AM, 03.05.2013

Tri-C Westshore building earns LEED Gold

The Cuyahoga Community College Westshore Campus Health Careers and Sciences building has earned the College its second LEED Gold certification from the United States Green Building Council.

Tri-C is the first community college in Ohio to earn three LEED certifications. The Eastern Campus Health Careers and Technology building earned Gold, the second-highest level of distinction for sustainable design, in July. The Brunswick University Center earned Silver in June.

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Volume 5, Issue 1, Posted 9:31 AM, 01.08.2013

Bald eagle makes its home at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center

[UPDATE: The bald eagle is being treated for a leg injury and its recovery and rehabilitation will likely keep it off public exhibit until spring 2013.]

The newest resident in the Wildlife Garden at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center in Bay Village is a rehabilitated adult bald eagle (Haliaeetus Leucocephalus) acquired from the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

Director of Wildlife Dave Wolf drove to Virginia to assure the safe transfer and journey of the eagle, which was determined to be non-releasable after several attempts at rehabilitation. Although a pronounced wing droop limits the eagle’s ability to sustain flight, it is otherwise healthy and successfully settling into its year-round, outdoor enclosure because its feather covering and internal physiology is perfectly adapted to endure Ohio’s summer heat and winter cold.

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Volume 4, Issue 25, Posted 10:44 AM, 12.11.2012

Bay landscape designer enlightens Girl Scouts with gardening tips

Have you ever seen a beautiful garden and thought, ”I wish that was in my backyard”? If you said yes, it’s easy to start your own garden. My Junior Girl Scout troop had a special visitor that taught us about gardening.

You might have seen her HUGE garden while driving down Lake Road in Bay Village. This amazing gardener is Julia Shutt. Julia started in advertising but her love of gardening made her switch careers. She is now a well-known landscape designer for Maple Leaf Landscaping Inc.

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Volume 4, Issue 24, Posted 10:32 AM, 11.27.2012

Beyond the landfill: Recycling reduces pollution, saves energy, creates jobs

Nov. 15 is the 15th annual “America Recycles Day.” The day, founded in 1997, was the idea of the non-profit group Keep America Beautiful to encourage people to dump less trash in landfills.

The good news is that recycling has increased in the USA – from around 8 percent of the total waste stream in 1960 to 17 percent in 1990 and about 33 percent currently, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. However, a lot more can be done, as most waste that goes to the landfill can be recycled, reused or composted.

So, why is it so important to recycle? What difference does it make anyway? According to a report issued by the Tellus Institute last year entitled "More Jobs, Less Pollution," not only would more robust recycling practices create jobs (nearly 1.5 million jobs by 2030), it would help to reduce pollution.

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Volume 4, Issue 22, Posted 7:37 PM, 10.30.2012

Can the Cardboard

Thanks to a grant from the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste Management District, the Bay Village Green Team has created stickers reminding residents to "Can the Cardboard." As part of the city's automated refuse collection, all recyclable materials, including cardboard, must be placed INSIDE the green cart  in order to avoid the landfill. Look for the sticker with the mayor's quarterly newsletter being sent out in the city's sewer and refuse statement on or around Oct. 1. Take the pledge and show your support to "Can the Cardboard" by sticking it on your green recycling container.

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Volume 4, Issue 20, Posted 10:27 AM, 10.02.2012

Experiencing the monarch butterfly migration

Our lives were touched by a monarch butterfly during this season’s migration. You may have noticed that the skies and trees were full of monarchs in early September. This was an especially big migration, and the sight was breathtaking. They came through northeastern Ohio on their annual migration path from Canada to Mexico, where they winter until the cycle begins again.

One little guy, who managed to lose part of his wings and one antenna, was carried home by my eight-year-old daughter. She refused to believe that he would die shortly of his injuries and lovingly placed him on a branch of a tree in our Bay Village backyard, which we had taken to calling the butterfly tree because of the hundreds of monarchs alighting and drinking nectar there. When I first saw him I winced at his state but told my daughter that it was very kind of her to give him such a nice place to recover.

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Volume 4, Issue 19, Posted 10:02 AM, 09.18.2012

Bay's recycling rate jumps 10 percentage points in one year

According to a recent report by the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District, Bay Village's residential recycling rate was 57 percent in 2011, up from 47 percent in 2010!

In May 2011, Bay Village introduced a new recycle and compost program through Republic Services with expanded capabilities. In the year ended June 2012, Republic Services reported that landfill trash was down 37 percent, or 2,850 tons, when compared to the year ended June 2011.

Here are some of the highlights of the new program:

Bay now has what is known as “Single Stream Recycling” where all types of paper, bottles, cans and cardboard can be placed in one bin.

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Volume 4, Issue 18, Posted 11:01 AM, 09.05.2012

Sea Scout Interlux project applauded by Bay Village Green Team

On Tuesday, Aug. 14, the Bay Village Sea Scouts made a presentation to the Bay Village Green Team on their Interlux Waterfront Challenge project combating toxic algal blooms in Lake Erie. Sea Scout Jack Rodman explained that the sea scouts planted Blue Flag iris along the shoreline at the Spitzer Marina to help absorb phosphorus (a contributing cause in the growth of blue green algae) and nitrogen (a chemical that causes hypoxia). 

The Sea Scouts have also planted Blue Flag Iris along the creek at Bay Presbyterian Church; and Mayor Deborah Sutherland has given permission to plant Blue Flag Iris along the Cahoon Creek behind the Community House. Both creeks flow directly into Lake Erie.

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Volume 4, Issue 17, Posted 10:00 AM, 08.21.2012

One Senior's Opinion: Finding joy in simple beauty

I can't believe school is starting. This summer just flew by. If I really think about it, my life seems to have flown by. I'm a senior citizen...seems impossible but true.

I can still see my young self in Grandpa's backyard with a book, a blanket and a glass of lemonade, hanging out with the hydrangeas. Summer in Grandpa's back yard was a riot of color. It seemed that every flower imaginable grew there. He had iris, daisies, gladiolas, bleeding hearts, asters, violets, peonies, pansies, petunias and, of course, his beloved roses.

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Volume 4, Issue 17, Posted 10:01 AM, 08.21.2012

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center kicks off adult program season

In 2011, the nonprofit Lake Erie Nature & Science Center introduced “Second Nature,” a new monthly series of programs designed to engage the lifelong learner with a variety of science and nature-based topics presented by educators and leaders in their fields. This September, the Center is pleased to kick off its autumn season of adult programming with the debut of the second season of "Second Nature."

For the first in the new season of programs, the Center welcomes Dr. Jeff Opperman of The Nature Conservancy’s Global Freshwater Program. In "From Burning Rivers to Living Rivers" on Thursday, Sept. 13, he will discuss the challenges and opportunities for global water sustainability. Calling upon knowledge and experiences gathered in his nearly 15-year history of working to protect rivers and lakes around the world, Dr. Opperman will address different facets of the global water crisis and some emerging solutions for attaining balanced use of water.

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Volume 4, Issue 17, Posted 10:03 AM, 08.21.2012

Sea Scouts battle HABs with native plants

This summer with its record number of 90-plus degree days, the Bay Village Sea Scouts have sought ways to minimize the toxic blue-green algae which cause Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) to form in Lake Erie. If you are a boater or enjoy swimming in the lake, you have probably seen the dirty scum that appears on the surface of the water, particularly after a storm. Factors that contribute to HABs include: excess phosphorus from fertilizer, animal waste, warm temperatures and sunlight. 

One of the reasons that the HAB problem has escalated is because the severity of rainstorms has increased over the last few decades, according to a recently released report by Environment America Research and Policy Center. For example, on July 27, 2012, Bay Village had 1.2 inches of rain in just 15 minutes. With a light rain, fertilizer will soak into the ground, but with a heavy downpour, fertilizer is flushed off of lawns and eventually reaches Lake Erie in storm water runoff through the sewers and creeks.

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Volume 4, Issue 16, Posted 10:28 AM, 08.07.2012

Pique your curiosity: Hitch a ride on NASA's latest mission to Mars

A little less than one year ago, Cleveland native and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineer Wayne Zimmerman visited Lake Erie Nature & Science Center to present an insider’s view of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. Zimmerman, who leads development of advanced robotic arms and instruments used in the program, talked about his contributions to NASA’s various expeditions to the red planet. He then screened a preview of what, at the time, was the forthcoming launch of Curiosity, the largest and most instrument-rich Mars Science Laboratory to date.

Curiosity, a mobile robotic exploration device, or rover (imagine a sophisticated Wall-E), has been charged with a mission to determine whether Mars, the planet most like Earth, contains evidence that it was ever a habitat for life. 

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Volume 4, Issue 16, Posted 10:29 AM, 08.07.2012

Bay garden a fun experience for growers of all ages

Join the community garden. There is still more room in the garden and open plots are available in spring. At the garden there are people that you might know or meet plus some people are nice enough to share some of their crops. Last year, when I was seven, someone gave me a tomato. And this year I’m getting a ton of snap peas.

You can grow onions, broccoli, lettuce, collards, tomatoes, squash, flowers, herbs, blue corn, Brussels sprouts and more. Remember when I said blue corn? I only know one friend who is growing blue corn. Her name is Lily. Her corn is so big! Here are some other good ideas of stuff to grow: strawberries, snap peas and radishes. They grow very fast!

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Volume 4, Issue 16, Posted 10:24 AM, 08.07.2012

Sea Scouts tackle toxic algae bloom

Sea Scout Ship 41 of Bay Village has again taken up the Interlux Waterfront Challenge. Interlux is an international yacht paint company, a division of AkzoNobel Corporation with U.S. headquarters in Strongsville. 

This year Interlux is again offering grants of up to $20,000 for the best waterfront environmental project. The Sea Scouts have been studying the water quality of Lake Erie, in particular the toxic blue-green algae blooms. They have been looking into simple ways to help provide remedies.   

The Bay Village shoreline is a favorite spot for swimming and boating enthusiasts who believe the water safe since the Cuyahoga Dept. of Health tests Huntington Beach water quality daily. However there has been a 200 percent increase in days under advisory this year so far, over the average for the past four years.

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Volume 4, Issue 15, Posted 10:18 AM, 07.24.2012

Upcoming programs at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center

Saturday, July 28 (3 p.m.) Meet an Animal – All ages are welcome to come along and be introduced to the world of venomous snakes. See live examples of Ohio’s three venomous snakes (yes, Ohio has venomous snakes!) and learn the facts and fallacies surrounding them. Tickets are $2/person and go on sale on the day of the show.

Sunday, July 29 (11 a.m., noon, or 1 p.m.) Sunday Under the Stars – An out-of-this-world experience the whole family can enjoy in the Walter R. Schuele Planetarium! Choose from three shows at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. Learn how the planetarium really is a “magical” place for the youngest stargazers and get a look at what’s going on in the sky tonight. Tickets are $2/person and go on sale on the day of the show. Programs repeat every Sunday.

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Volume 4, Issue 15, Posted 10:13 AM, 07.24.2012

What is that noise in my chimney?

Have you heard chirping noises in your chimney and wondered what it was? Chances are you have probably heard the chattering of Chimney Swifts, a unique species of bird that nest only in chimneys. Lake Erie Nature & Science Center’s Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation staff receives many calls about these birds at this time of year as it is their primary nesting season.

Sometimes called “flying cigars,” Chimney Swifts are small, dark-colored birds with long pointed wings and stiff tails. The only swifts commonly found in eastern North America, they have a cylindrical body and tend to be similar in appearance to swallows. Just like bats, swifts are aerial foragers whose diets consist primarily of flying insects.

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Volume 4, Issue 14, Posted 12:46 PM, 07.10.2012

Time is running out to enter Westlake in Bloom

By now your gardens should be thriving, so what are you waiting for? Make the decision now to enter the Westlake in Bloom awards program. The deadline for entries to be received is Monday, June 25, at 5 p.m. 

Westlake residents and business owners can download entry forms from the city’s website at www.cityofwestlake.org and mail to Westlake in Bloom, City of Westlake, 27700 Hilliard Blvd., Westlake, OH 44145, or drop off at the reception desk at Westlake City Hall. Entry forms are also available at any of these Westlake garden centers: Cahoon Nursery, Dean’s Greenhouse, Gale’s Westlake Garden Center or Plant Crafters.

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Volume 4, Issue 12, Posted 9:46 AM, 06.12.2012

Bay Skate and Bike Park event goes 'near zero waste'

If you happened to be around Bay Lodge on Saturday, May 26, an enjoyable family event was underway. It was the very popular annual Rib Burn-off sponsored by the Bay Skate and Bike Park (BSBP) to raise money for their foundation, and this year saw a record turnout of over 200 people. The sound of music from Hypnotic Dog was gently floating through the air while youngsters competed at corn hole and twelve rib teams cooked ribs, each with a unique recipe, to the delight of the crowd and the judges.

This year there was a new twist – compost containers were set up in two recycle stations to capture the paper plates and food leftovers once the dinner was over.

According to Lawrence Kuh, executive director of the Bay Skate and Bike Park Foundation, being “near zero waste” is an important part of this event. “I am excited and honored to be part of this. We want to do what we can to make this community great and have the smallest carbon footprint in the process.”

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Volume 4, Issue 11, Posted 9:57 AM, 05.30.2012

Yard waste decals available

Approved "Yard Waste Only" trash can decals are available at Bay Village City Hall for $2 each. The proceeds fund Bay Village Green Team projects like the Share the Road bicycle signs. Get yours today!

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Volume 4, Issue 10, Posted 11:45 AM, 05.15.2012

Green Team holds inaugural Arbor Day celebration

The Bay Village Green Team celebrated Arbor Day and our Tree City USA status on Saturday, April 28, by planting over a dozen Eastern Redbud and other indigenous trees in Bay. Residents and city leaders graciously volunteered their yards for a group of Green Team members to plant a seedling tree, that granted, appears to be a twig now, but will grow into a flowering yard feature that aids in beautifying our neighborhoods, improving the diversity of our woodlands and controlling storm water runoff. 

Residents including Jerrie, Dan, Warren, Mike, Christine and Pat, along with all the council members (Scott, Clete, Karen, Dave, Dwight, Paul and Mike) and Mayor Sutherland, helped to support this initiative by allowing the Green Team to plant a seedling tree in their yard, or volunteering a neighbor that was wanting a new tree.

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Volume 4, Issue 9, Posted 10:12 AM, 05.01.2012

Westlake Garden Club celebrates Arbor Day

The Westlake Garden Club planted a Concolor Fir at the Founders’ Walk at Clague Park on April 27 in celebration of Arbor Day. For the past two decades, the garden club has planted a tree somewhere in Westlake every year on Arbor Day. 

Club member Kathy Molner coordinated the event for over 20 years and, this year, turned the reins over to Kathie Carnall. Kathie worked with the Westlake Service Department and Cahoon Nursery, who donated the tree, to determine the location and type of tree to plant.

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Volume 4, Issue 9, Posted 10:10 AM, 05.01.2012

Learn how to recycle rainwater and kitchen scraps at free seminars

The Bay Village Green Team's popular Green Your Life series continues in May with seminars on the topics of creating a rain garden and composting. Both events will be in the Bay Community House at 303 Cahoon Rd. They are free and open to the public.

The rain garden seminar will be held Wednesday, May 9, 6:30-8 p.m. Amy Roskilly from the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District will discuss the proper techniques for building a beautiful rain garden in your yard. A rain garden is a lovely addition to your landscaping and can feature a selection of vibrant native plants of varying sizes, colors and bloom time to provide for beautiful flowers all season.

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Volume 4, Issue 9, Posted 10:17 AM, 05.01.2012

Learn how to beautify (and 'green') your yard at April workshops

Spring is a great time to look at ways to improve the management of storm water in your yard.

When rain water falls on our property, it hits the hard surfaces all around us such as roofs, lawns, sidewalks and driveways. Typically, the water drainage is set up so that it runs into storm sewers or streams that drain directly to the lake, carrying with it the residue of fertilizer and pesticides along with litter, pet waste and non-biodegradable cleaners. Recent studies indicate that up to 70 percent of all lake and stream pollution comes from residential yards.

The Bay Village Green Team is offering two workshops as part of their yearlong "Green Your Life" series to educate the community about methods for dealing with rain water in an environmentally-friendly way.

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Volume 4, Issue 8, Posted 11:11 AM, 04.17.2012

Local drop-off for Habitat for Humanity donations April 28

Are you thinking about Spring Cleaning? Do you have some household items you no longer need? The Bay Village Green Team has arranged an easy way to donate your usable furniture, building materials, fixtures, tools, yard items and MORE!

Donating your usable household items provides direct benefits to our local economy. Your donations are sold to other area residents through the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and the proceeds support Habitat's mission to eliminate poverty through home construction and rehabilitation. The money is used to purchase building materials to make home ownership a dream for deserving families.

Bring your donation items to the Bay Village Police Department parking lot, 28000 Wolf Rd. on Saturday, April 28 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

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Volume 4, Issue 8, Posted 11:12 AM, 04.17.2012

Girl Scout organizes April 29 sustainability workshop for kids

I am a senior at Rocky River High School and I have been in Girl Scouts for over 10 years achieving, both my Girl Scout bronze and silver awards. My next goal is to achieve the highest award a Girl Scout can get, the Gold Award. This award requires a Girl Scout to reach out into her community and create a project that will continue when she leaves.

For almost half a year I racked my brain for ideas for my project. Let me tell you, detailed projects do not come around in one night. During this time I was also in the progress of deciding my major for college. As I kept researching, I found the sustainability major, which in a nutshell, works with the environment. As time progressed, I fell in love with sustainability. I will be pursuing this major in the fall at either Baldwin Wallace University or University of Colorado-Boulder.

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Volume 4, Issue 7, Posted 10:42 AM, 04.03.2012

The wonders of wildlife: male birds attacking windows

The phones have been ringing off the hook this week at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center’s Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center. We have been receiving many questions about the mild winter, how it has affected the wildlife in our area, and what we should expect from an earlier and warmer than average spring. But more than any other request, callers have been anxious to find an answer to a curious conundrum: “How can I stop a bird from repeatedly flying into my windows?”

In my role of wildlife rehabilitation coordinator at the nonprofit Center, I’ve had to address this very common question on a regular basis. This year, the Center’s wildlife specialists and I have been working to carefully assess each caller’s problem and adapt some handy tips to hopefully solve each unique situation.

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Volume 4, Issue 7, Posted 10:40 AM, 04.03.2012

The harmful consequences of fertilizing your yard

It's that time of year when many of us are beginning to fertilize our lawns and gardens. What many of us don't think about is how that practice is tied to a yearly water quality issue in Lake Erie. The problem can be seen just a mile off the shores of Bay Village in satellite images.

Last year was one of the worst years on record for a water quality issue resulting from human-induced algal blooms. These blooms, in turn, result in a problem known as the Lake Erie dead zone. This is a zone of oxygen-depleted water that has grown to cover as much as half of our lake.

Many aquatic organisms, including fish and insects, cannot live in this oxygen-depleted zone. Therefore, it disrupts the web of life that helps keep our aquatic ecosystem healthy. Furthermore, some species of algae contain neurotoxins that reach high enough concentrations during some blooms to have a severe impact on wildlife and to close area beaches.

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Volume 4, Issue 6, Posted 11:51 AM, 03.20.2012

Celebrate Earth Day by signing up for recycling rewards

With Earth Day just around the corner on April 22, many of us are thinking about easy ways to help the environment. As most of you may know, Bay Village residents can get discounts and deals simply from participating in the Recyclebank rewards program through your home recycling.

Since the Recyclebank program launched last May, Bay Village residents have recycled over 471 tons of material. That’s equivalent to 3,017 newborn Orca whales or 710 SMART cars! Great job!

Additionally, Bay residents have earned over one-million Recyclebank points translating into thousands of dollars saved. On average, each resident can earn over $100 in reward value through their annual recycling efforts. These savings have also helped boost the local economy because nearly 50% of the rewards are redeemed locally right here in Bay Village at locations such as Bay Lanes, Discount Drug Mart, Wild Birds Unlimited and Bay Village True Value Hardware.

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Volume 4, Issue 6, Posted 11:56 AM, 03.20.2012

Bay residents can get a jump on spring by reserving a community garden plot

Make organic local food part of your healthy lifestyle by reserving a community garden plot today! The Bay Community Garden, located on Wolf Road, is now accepting applications from Bay residents for the 2012 garden season. The garden plots are 4-by-8 feet, and are rented for $40 per year. Since a technique called “Square Foot Gardening” is used, it is amazing how many vegetables and herbs can be grown on each of these plots.

The gardening is all organic. The city provides gardeners with rich humus to spread on the garden plots. The humus is leaf-based compost that is the result of the leaf pick-up program. In fall, the leaves are taken to the Westlake Service Center to be composted and returned as humus in spring to use in the gardening. The humus is a great soil amendment that is mixed into your garden to create a fertile planting bed.

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Volume 4, Issue 6, Posted 11:47 AM, 03.20.2012

Friendships and retirement blossom when you get involved

When I retired from my full-time job as membership coordinator at The Union Club in downtown Cleveland in March 2008, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Having an art background, I knew I wanted to take some art classes and explore painting styles, and I also wanted to join a garden club. 

I attended my first meeting of the Westlake Garden Club the month I retired and was recruited to become the recording secretary. I joined the garden club in April 2008 and started taking minutes of the meetings in August 2008.

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Volume 4, Issue 6, Posted 11:54 AM, 03.20.2012

Bay Village Green Team's Green Tip of the Month

Having a Super Bowl party? Then making it a “zero waste” party by:

  • Using reusable dinnerware, utensils & reusable or recyclable bottles
  • Using cloth napkins and tablecloth instead of paper products
  • Marking recycling and compost receptacles and using them! 
  • Informing your guests of your goal of zero waste
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Volume 4, Issue 2, Posted 2:02 PM, 01.24.2012