Nature & Environment

A message from the Bay Village Green Team

Composting 101  

Why compost?

  • Composting creates rich organic soil amendment that you can use to “green” your yard
  • Yard trimmings and food scraps make up approximately 25 - 30% of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream. Composting reduces your ecological footprint by reducing garbage being landfilled.
  • Composting reduces water pollution by reducing the need for fertilizers, which prevent algae blooms and fish kills in lakes and streams.  

This is the time of year for winterizing your flower beds and raking leaves. What a great opportunity to start COMPOSTING your organic yard waste.

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Volume 2, Issue 25, Posted 10:07 AM, 12.01.2010

Holiday shopping for creatures and a cause

Who puts pine shavings, latex gloves or mealworms on a holiday shopping list? You – if you shop for the animals at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. Throughout the month of December, the Center will collect holiday gifts for creature care.

Wildlife Rehabilitation Coordinator Amy LeMonds said the Center's "wish list" includes an unusual mix of items that meet specific animal care needs. "For example, every winter, we care for bats that are disturbed from hibernation," LeMonds said. "In order to nourish and keep the animals alive until their natural food sources return, we have a special need for insects like mealworms and crickets. We also go through hundreds of gallons of Dawn dish detergent- not only cleaning oiled animals- but also cleaning up after the animals."

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Volume 2, Issue 24, Posted 2:13 PM, 11.23.2010

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center seeks community feedback

Survey will help nonprofit center develop roadmap for the future

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is working to cast a wide net as it conducts a year-end survey aimed at gleaning community feedback.

“We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for a wide range of voices to have input into our planning process for the coming year and beyond,” said Center Executive Director Catherine Timko. “A nonprofit organization like ours, which relies on community support to carry out our mission, should keep a finger on the pulse of the region as we plan for the future.” 

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Volume 2, Issue 22, Posted 5:11 PM, 10.28.2010

Turning garbage into gold

We all have items in our household that we don’t use and giving these to a charity is the answer. When we cook a meal we have food scraps we jam down the disposal or toss in our garbage can. The magical solution is to recycle those scraps into "black gold" to enrich our veggie and flower gardens. Savvy gardeners know this loamy, rich, black organic material that composting creates is priceless. Huge squash, tomatoes and gigantic flowers reward us. Composting your kitchen waste is easy.

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Volume 2, Issue 16, Posted 6:52 PM, 08.10.2010

Insights into baby bird behavior in Northeast Ohio

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center explains common misunderstanding and counsels hands-off approach

As we head into the second half of summer, keep an eye out for small bundles of twigs and grassroots forming in tree branches. Lake Erie Nature & Science Center Wildlife Rehabilitation Coordinator Amy LeMonds says these are signs of birds that are still nesting in northeastern Ohio. Several native species, such as the American Goldfinch and Cedar Waxwing, construct “cup nests,” named for their distinctive cup-like shape, in preparation for hatching another round of eggs in midsummer. 

New nests in the area mean the appearance of fledglings. LeMonds receives hundreds of calls at the Center during nesting season about human contact with fledgling birds. Many people assume that baby birds have full flight capabilities upon leaving the nest; however, as Amy reports, this is rarely the case.

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Volume 2, Issue 16, Posted 2:22 PM, 07.30.2010

Autumn will bring new possibilities for experiencing nature hands-on

Although summer camp is still in full swing, Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is already beginning registration for the fall session! A host of timely and brand new programs for families and adults are planned for the autumn season along with tried and true fall favorites.

Two opportunities for guided family exploration – one close to “home” and one at a seldom explored nature preserve are on the newly published fall program calendar. Lake Erie Family Day, for families with children ages 5 and up, takes place Sunday, September 19 from 1-3 p.m. Veteran instructor Bev Walborn will lead the exploration and introduce live animals that depend on the lake ecosystems for survival. "We'll be hiking to the beach along Porter Creek, searching for mussels, feathers and beach glass at the shore and testing water samples," Walborn said.

The gated Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve (formerly Dike 14) is rarely open to the public, but families with children age 5 and up can also explore this hidden gem with Walborn during the Center’s Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve Family Day on Sunday, October 17 from 1-3 p.m. Walborn says participants will learn how the preserve was created, demystify “lake effect” weather, search for animal tracks and discover unique plant and animal life during a 1.5 mile hike that crosses Doan Brook. The fee for either of these family days is $7 per person or $35 for a family of five or more and pre-registration is required.

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Volume 2, Issue 15, Posted 2:46 PM, 07.21.2010

Feathered fishers: Catch-and-release stories from Lake Erie Nature & Science Center

For many of us living along Lake Erie, summertime brings the promise of warm, shimmering water teeming with fish ripe for the catching. While we go out on jetties or boats and cast our lines, other creatures spread their wings and wet their beaks to catch a few fish of their own. This summer at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, we’ve been fortunate to have several cases of fish-catching avian wildlife which were released back into the wild. While here, they taught us a few lessons about the beauty of nature and the challenges that living wild in Northeast Ohio brings.

One of the many threats posed to wildlife as an unfortunate result of human recreational activities is fishing line left behind. Several weeks ago, our rehab team received a Great Blue Heron with fishing line wrapped around its body. The heron was in poor health due to extreme stress and dehydration. The fishing line was removed and the heron was stabilized. After determining there was no serious damage, the bird was released back into the wild five days after admittance.

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Volume 2, Issue 14, Posted 10:55 AM, 07.09.2010

A green world and sweet dreams

Sustainability is the capacity to endure. The ability to sustain is something that nature does amazingly well. Plants and animals adapt to their changing environment. The cactus holds water and the bear hibernates in winter. The goldfinch is the same brilliant yellow as the sunflowers it flies to for food.

We have an opportunity to practice what nature does so well—in our own backyard. We can conserve and recycle. Our grandmothers were experts. They hung their sheets out in the sun to dry and captured the sun’s energy. Composting veggie scraps, wood ashes, pet hair and leaves produced rich humus used for amending the soil in their victory gardens. They knew how to cultivate because they learned from their parents.


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Volume 2, Issue 13, Posted 4:29 PM, 06.25.2010

Students achieve backyard wildlife habitat certification

A group of Northeast Ohio elementary school students have seen a year of hard work (and fun!) building a wildlife habitat at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center pay off with national certification. The 24 students who participate in the Center’s “After School Adventures Club” received approval from the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) designating their garden project in front of the Center as a Certified Wildlife Habitat.  

The recognition goes to individuals or groups who follow specific NWF guidelines for creating a garden area that provides food, water, cover and a place for wildlife to raise their young, in addition to incorporating sustainable gardening practices. Center Executive Director Catherine Timko cut the ribbon at a recent gathering to celebrate completion of the habitat, which the students enhanced by building a rock-rimmed water feature. 

The best part of the year-long experience for 4th grader Adam Goyetche of Westlake was, “all the hikes we did collecting items and observing where animals live.” Adam said the class has already observed a nest being built high in the trees in the newly certified habitat.

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Volume 2, Issue 10, Posted 1:11 PM, 04.28.2010

Bay Village wildlife rehab program flooded with spring baby questions

Important and Timely Advice for Kids and Adults as Wild Animal Offspring Arrive On the Scene

The phone has been ringing steadily and there’s a huge jump in animals being examined in the wildlife rehabilitation program at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. These are sure signs that spring has arrived at the Bay Village nonprofit organization. Often, the rehab staff’s best advice is, “Hands off! Let wild animals be wild!” 

“We are heading into our busiest season, when the presence of baby animals dramatically increases questions about backyard wildlife behavior,” said Amy LeMonds, Wildlife Rehabilitation Coordinator at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. “It is imperative that wild animals be raised in the wild and by their parents. Human intervention should only happen as a very last resort.” 


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Volume 2, Issue 9, Posted 4:03 PM, 04.27.2010