Nature & Environment

Westlake Garden Club continues Arbor Day tradition

The Westlake Garden Club planted a tree in front of Westlake Porter Public Library on April 29 in celebration of Arbor Day. The group has planted trees around the city every year for over 20 years.

PICTURED: Westlake Garden Club members Ruth Bertrand, Margaret Schulz, Sally Knurek, Kathy Molnar and Maryann Brock, along with Porter Library Director Andrew Mangles and Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough, listen as Stan Barnard, Westlake's Urban Forestry/Safety Manager, describes the species of tree the club planted.

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Volume 3, Issue 9, Posted 4:39 PM, 05.03.2011

Bay trash program to increase recycling, decrease long-term costs

The new program for removal of recycling and trash in Bay Village is expected to increase recycling by 30-50% or more by increasing the items to be recycled curbside and providing rewards to residents for recycling. And, the more that we recycle, the longer the current Oberlin Landfill will last, thereby delaying significant waste management cost increases. 

In April, each resident received two large containers from Allied Waste – one blue container for trash and one green container for recycling. Here is how it works:

Continue to recycle curbside: Newspaper, plastics labeled No. 1 and No. 2, glass bottles and jars and aluminum and steel cans. Containers should be rinsed, caps and neck rings removed from the bottles.

Added to curbside recycling: Mixed paper (magazines, catalogs, school papers, mail, construction paper, typing paper, pamphlets, shredded paper) and cardboard (corrugated cardboard, cereal boxes, tissue boxes, paper towel rolls).

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Volume 3, Issue 9, Posted 4:49 PM, 05.03.2011

LENSC urges “hands off” approach to baby wildlife

A sure sign (or sound) of spring at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is the constant ringing of the phone with calls about baby wildlife. The Center's Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Program staff welcomes and encourages these calls and offers free advice in order to head off unnecessary human intervention by well-intentioned but uninformed “rescuers.” Some things to keep in mind about the wild babies you encounter in your backyard:

• Baby wildlife is rarely abandoned in nature. Wildlife mothers often leave their babies unattended for hours. Even if one parent has died, in many cases, the remaining parent can ably take care of the babies.

• Baby wild animals DO NOT need to be protected from the natural dangers in their lives. Cats and dogs, cars, streets and parking lots are all a natural part of the life of an urban/suburban wild animal. They NEED to grow up among these things in order to learn how to successfully co-exist with them.

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Volume 3, Issue 9, Posted 4:41 PM, 05.03.2011

Rain Barrels in Bay Village

Are you on the lookout for the Rain Barrel Run-Off posters and rain barrels? You should be! My third-grade class delivered them the week of April 18. The rain barrels were delivered to locations such as: True Value, City Hall, Key Bank, Dairy Queen, Bay Arts, PNC Bank, Huntington Bank, Bay Library, Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, Bay Board of Education and Java Bay.

We put posters in many other local businesses, too. Everyone in my class thanks all the businesses helping us with this project. We have written them letters and visited them, also.

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Volume 3, Issue 8, Posted 6:15 PM, 04.19.2011

Can attracting something wild be relaxing?

A question that's often asked at this time of year is, "How do I attract birds and butterflies?” This is a great question because the answer is, "Install plants and invite them!”

We live close to Lake Erie and that makes it is truly easy attract and view migrating birds and have them visit annually. I slice up oranges and stake them on driftwood or hang them on the branches of flowering shrubs like lilacs to attract Baltimore Orioles. This vibrant orange and black bird arrives in my neighborhood in late April through mid-May and feeds happily on my oranges.

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Volume 3, Issue 8, Posted 6:10 PM, 04.19.2011

Learn how to reduce storm water run-off on your property

Build a rain barrel to take home at a rain barrel workshop on Wed., April 27

There is no doubt that storm water run-off is increasing as development expands and the pervious surfaces (like meadows and forests) that soak up the water naturally are disappearing. There are things that a homeowner can do to reduce the storm water run-off on his/her property and utilize the rain water in a beneficial manner, including installing a rain barrel.

According to Amy Roskilly of the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District, a rain barrel is a container used to collect and store rainwater that would otherwise be lost to run-off and likely diverted to a storm drain. Collected water may then be used to water lawns and gardens.

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Volume 3, Issue 7, Posted 3:09 PM, 04.05.2011

Habitat for Humanity collection coming to Bay police dept. parking lot

Local Habitat for Humanity Drop Off Arranged by the Bay Village Green Team

Planning any Spring cleaning this year? Do you have any gently used household items that can be donated to a worthy cause? One such organization is Habitat for Humanity.  

 Two Habitat for Humanity Donation Drop Off dates have been arranged for your convenience at the Bay Village Police Department Parking Lot. 

The drop off dates and times are:

Saturday, April 16, and Saturday, May 21, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Bay Village Police Department Parking Lot, 28000 Wolf Road.

If you have large items, you can also arrange for home pick up by contacting Jerry Jarc at 440-823-4579 (prior to April 16 or May 21)

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Volume 3, Issue 7, Posted 3:17 PM, 04.05.2011

Use rain barrels to conserve water

Soon there will be bright and colorful signs advertising rain barrels around Bay Village. My classmates and I made them because my teacher, Mrs. Fisher, and everyone in my class (including me) is trying to help people in Bay learn about conserving water with rain barrels. 

Our Mission Statement is: To educate Bay citizens about conserving water by using rain barrels. We plan to sell rain barrels to businesses and citizens. So far we have around 12 rain barrels. We have painted them blues and greens and are going to put different designs to match your garden on them. 

The rain barrels and/or posters will be displayed at Huntington Bank, Heinen's, Georgio's, Dairy Queen, True Value Hardware, City Hall, Key Bank, PNC Bank, BAYarts, Bay Library, Lake Erie Nature and Science Center, and Java Bay. The students in my class wrote letters to those businesses requesting them to let us display posters and rain barrels. 

They sent us an email at our email address: rainbarrelrunoff@hotmail.com. Then, we went to their business to have them sign a contract. Most of them did and then it was a done deal. After we met with them and let them sign the contract, we wrote a thank you letter to them, thanking them for spending time with us.

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Volume 3, Issue 6, Posted 9:59 AM, 03.22.2011

Color is the cure for the winter grays

By the time mid-March rolls around, we have cabin fever and some even suffer from seasonal affective disorder, caused by sunlight deprivation. We’re sick of gray, dreary landscapes.

I know of a cure lurking beneath those soggy leaves: Color! I like to design with lots of this and I know that bountiful color cures the blahs. Try spring-blooming rock garden perennials like Dianthus ‘Neon Star,’ Creeping Phlox ‘Emerald Cushion Pink’ and Violas.

These low maintenance flowers have electric hues and are semi-evergreen, which means a bit more winter color, too. In the heat of the summer they need little water. The local deer will stroll on by because they don’t like these cultivars. It’s a gardener’s cure that’ll help you get your mojo back!

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Volume 3, Issue 6, Posted 10:02 AM, 03.22.2011

Go green this spring!

Learn how to compost at a free seminar to be held April 13 at Bay Community House

Spring is a great time to start a compost pile. All you need is a sunny spot in the backyard and you’ll be able to create a compost pile using a mix of “brown” and “green” materials.

Backyard composting is a key to reducing the waste that goes to the landfill. When the organic matter such as kitchen and yard waste go to the landfill, the nutrients are not returned to the soil.

Through composting, you reuse valuable materials by returning the nutrients from the food you eat and the plant material in your yard back to the soil. According to the EPA, nearly 25% of all waste that goes to landfills is compostable.

What can be composted? The compost process adds 1-2 parts GREEN materials with 2-3 parts BROWN materials.

  • Green (organic) materials include: Plant clippings, vegetable scraps, fruit scraps, flowers, grass clippings, coffee grounds, tea bags
  • Brown (organic) materials include: Dead leaves, straw, sawdust, wood chips, shredded newspaper, dryer/vacuum lint, nut shells
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Volume 3, Issue 6, Posted 9:58 AM, 03.22.2011

Community garden in Bay Village ready to 'spring' into action

If you enjoy fresh produce, want to learn how to garden or want to help those in need, the Bay Village Community Garden has something for you. Community garden participants range from scout troops learning to grow vegetables and herbs to families who harvest the greens from their plot for the evening dinner table. And there are churches and community groups that use the plots to grow fresh produce for those in need.  

The Bay Village Community Garden opened in May 2010 at the corner of Forestview and Wolf roads, and in no time, eighty plots were quickly in use. The garden was envisioned by Green Team member, Bob Shields, who has a master's degree in botany and has been involved in gardening since his scouting days. He expects that all 130 plots available will be rented out or put to use by service organizations this year.

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Volume 3, Issue 5, Posted 10:08 AM, 03.08.2011

Pelican patient journeys to St. Louis to continue rehab

An off-course, juvenile American White Pelican that was rehabbing at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is now settled into the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis, Mo., where the next phase of rehab for an injured wing is underway. The Bay Village Center's Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Coordinator Amy LeMonds drove the bird to St. Louis to expedite and supervise the transfer. 

Unlike Northeast Ohio, St. Louis is a natural stomping ground for this species of bird. If the wing heals properly and the bird is releasable, which is the goal, the pelican could be integrated into the wild population along the Mississippi River.

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Volume 3, Issue 5, Posted 10:40 AM, 03.08.2011

Rare to Northeast Ohio, pelican receives treatment at LENSC

A beautiful American White Pelican, one of the largest birds in North America, is showing improvement in Lake Erie Nature & Science Center’s Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Program. This unusual patient, rarely seen in Northeast Ohio, was rescued from the Cuyahoga River on Jan. 19 with a left wing injury.

Center Wildlife Rehabilitation Coordinator Amy LeMonds says an X-ray and veterinary exam revealed no fracture to the wing, so the bird has been treated for soft tissue injury. LeMonds reports that the pelican is doing well after a month of rehabilitation that also included treatment for dehydration and intestinal parasites. In fact, the big bird has gained almost three pounds as it consumes nearly four pounds of fish each day!

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Volume 3, Issue 4, Posted 9:49 AM, 02.22.2011

Annual seeds and the 'wow' factor

If you’re looking for something to make your garden a knockout this summer tries growing a few flowers from seed. I know that many gardeners shy away from this task because they don’t want to fuss with early potting and care. It takes forever and most gardeners want it now. Well take it from an impatient gardener—these babies grow fast!  

These are some of my favorites and I sow them directly into my garden beds: "Alaska" nasturtiums, "Violet Queen" cleome and "Heavenly Blue" morning glories. (They’re from tropical climates and don’t germinate until soil temperatures warm in late spring.)

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Volume 3, Issue 4, Posted 9:56 AM, 02.22.2011

Use RTA bus service to green your commute

 A Message from the Bay Village Green Team

Make a New Year’s resolution to save money and green your commute! Save wear and tear on your car, save on parking and rising gasoline costs, and do your part to reduce emissions in Northeast Ohio.

The RTA has several bus routes that go in to Downtown Cleveland on weekdays. The cost is $2.25 or $2.50 per ride – much cheaper than most downtown parking. And, you can get bus passes that reduce the cost even further. Following are the public transit routes in Bay and Westlake.

West Shore Flyer – Route 55F

The bus route goes through Bay Village – on either Lake, Wolf, or Osborn roads – within a few blocks of just about anyone that lives in the city. The route continues on Lake Rd. to Clifton Blvd., and on into Downtown Cleveland. Morning eastbound routes run between 6 and 8 a.m. Evening westbound routes run between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. 

If you live in Westlake, there are several routes that go between Crocker Park and downtown Cleveland. Or, you can catch the 55F at the Clague Road Park-N-Ride (at the intersection of Clague and Wolf roads).

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Volume 3, Issue 1, Posted 4:09 PM, 01.03.2011

A Westsider's guide to recycling almost anything!

Happy New Year, Westlake and Bay residents! If your New Year's resolutions include clearing out clutter, making some extra bucks or becoming a more devoted recycler, then this reference guide is worth keeping!

We are very fortunate that we live in an area with so many convenient ways to recycle.

IF YOU WANT MONEY FOR YOUR EFFORTS:
1. Recycle Zone, 28820 Lorain Rd., North Olmsted. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sat., 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Rather than ending up in a landfill, this drive-through recycling service puts items back in the production stream AND  pays you in the process. Accepted items: Car and marine batteries, aluminum, brass, copper, steel, computers and e-scrap, and junk cars. Visit www.recyclezoneusa.com or call 440-471-4652 for more information.

2. Consignment stores will take your clothing, shoes, accessories and sometimes household items and books, depending on the store. They then set a price and you get a portion of the profits, usually 40% of the selling price. Again, it varies by store. But we are spoiled for choice! Call for consignment hours and information about the type of clothes they currently are accepting. Here are some of the closest:

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Volume 3, Issue 1, Posted 6:40 PM, 01.04.2011

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