Nature & Environment

Bay Middle School students learn about conservation

Bay High School’s Project Earth club members contributed to the celebration of Arbor Day by spreading environmental awareness to young students at Bay Middle School on April 29. The Arbor Day Ambassadors designed activities to help seventh-grade students understand the importance of renewable resources. With help from the Bay Village city arborist Mike Polinski and the donation of 200 red oak trees the students were able to learn and plant, then take home their own renewable resource!

Members of Project Earth discussed the importance of conservation and how we can all protect the environment. Students learned about the impact of healthy trees within our community and the importance of cleaning our local waterways.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:43 AM, 05.03.2016

Dover Intermediate students celebrate trees with planting, poster contest

In celebration of Arbor Day, the Westlake City Tree Commission sponsored a poster and essay contest for Dover Intermediate School's fifth-grade students. Essays included information about the importance of trees for the city and its residents. The students' posters were colorful illustrations of the area's trees and the theme “Why Trees are Important to ME”. The posters showed methods of preserving and protecting trees as well as encouraging the planting of new trees for shade, erosion control, animal habitats, wind shelters and beauty.

Posters were judged by the Westlake City Tree Commission members Mary Beth Schneidler, Margie Rossander, John Walz, Diane Morris, Justin Parks, Westlake Urban Forestry Manager Stan Barnard and Westlake City Service Director Paul Quinn.

The poster contest and tree planting are components of Westlake's status as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. Being a Tree City USA requires the city to meet criteria to ensure the preservation and protection of trees as well as observing Arbor Day celebrations for the community. This is Westlake's 25th year earning this designation and was the fourth year for the poster contest. All of the fifth-graders who submitted a poster for the contest were invited to the April 29 ceremony and tree planting.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:47 AM, 05.03.2016

A most peculiar place to nest

If you have driven around the community this spring, you may have noticed that Canada geese are nesting in the most peculiar places. Two examples of this are nests located by the entrance of the water treatment plant on Clague Road (right next to the sidewalk!) and near Hooley House on Sperry Road (in a landscaping island, right in the parking lot!)

Why do the geese select such odd places to built their nests? The answer is because they have protection. According to Amy LeMonds, wildlife specialist at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, the guardians of these nests are the geese’s mates, the ganders. The females feel safe because their mates are always nearby to protect them, as this photographer found out while photographing the nest on Clague Road. As I was approaching the nest,  I kept inching closer to get the best shot. Suddenly, I heard a honk.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 10:07 AM, 04.19.2016

‘Birds of Lake Erie’ event introduced for all levels of birding experience

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center recognizes the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty with the introduction of the event, Birds of Lake Erie Day, on Saturday, April 30. The treaty was initially signed in 1916 as an international effort to protect, conserve and manage migratory bird populations and their habitats.

Birds are a mechanism for many important environmental functions such as seed dispersal, waste management, and pest control. Observing bird populations can provide valuable insight into what is occurring in our natural world.

“We wanted to both celebrate the past 100 years of progress and to promote conservation and education moving forward,” says Director of Wildlife Amy LeMonds.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 9:50 AM, 04.19.2016

Families adventure to space at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center

With the introduction of Family Adventures in Space, the offerings for families at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center’s planetarium continue to grow. Introduced in March, this program provides another opportunity for audiences of all ages to explore outer space together.

Each weekend, families at the Bay Village institution will travel through space, visit different objects in the Solar System, explore constellations in the night sky and learn about NASA’s missions. The program runs Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 p.m. in the planetarium which was transformed in 2014. Tickets are just $3 per person and guests are invited to explore the rest of Lake Erie Nature & Science Center at which admission and parking are always free.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 10:06 AM, 03.15.2016

Controlling geese in an urban environment

Maybe you've noticed the increasing number of Canada geese on your property, in nearby parks, at schools, hospitals, roadways and parking lots. With ever-increasing numbers these geese have become a health hazard and nuisance in our urban environment.

You have probably waded through the mine field of goose droppings on your way into work. Possibly you've fed these geese leftover bread at a local lake. Probably you were unaware of the damage done to both the geese and the environment by interfering with "normal" migratory patterns of Canada geese.

At the March 16 meeting of the Westlake Garden Club, geese management experts from Ohio Geese Control will be speaking about these topics and other aspects of geese control. Join us at Westlake Porter Public Library at 1 p.m. for this interesting and educational program.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 9:32 AM, 03.01.2016

Sustainability forum series continues in March

Representatives from three local Green Teams – Bay Village, Fairview Park and Rocky River – gathered on Feb. 16 for a sustainability forum on the topic of single-use plastic bags. The speaker was Cuyahoga Councilwoman Sunny Simon, who addressed the logistics of implementing a plastic bag fee in Cuyahoga County. Studies show such a fee results in a 50-79 percent reduction in single-use bags. This process, not likely to move forward until 2017, would follow in the footsteps of cities across America and the world who have used economics to incentive environmental stewardship. Simon identified the efforts of Montgomery County, Maryland, as a community to model. Thank you to Councilwoman Simon for her time and candor and to Lisa McMonagle, Fairview Park Green Team volunteer, for coordinating the forum.

Building on the success of the February forum, the Fairview Park Green Team will host a second sustainability forum on Tuesday, March 22, at 7 p.m. in the Dunson Community Room at Fairview Park City Hall, 20777 Lorain Road. This forum – “Simple Steps to Natural Lawn Care & Stormwater Drainage Solutions” – will showcase ways homeowners can act to improve water quality in the Rocky River and Lake Erie watersheds.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 9:37 AM, 03.01.2016

Winter offers new view of nature

Walking through Huntington Reservation this time of the year allows one to see what's beyond the leaf-covered trees of spring. A new view to a beautiful walk in the woods is just waiting to be discovered!

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:55 AM, 02.16.2016

Small, simple actions can have large impact

Everyone can take part in a beach clean-up every single day. A single human can have a huge impact on the health of our beautiful Lake Erie by picking up litter anywhere, anytime. Litter on our streets, in our yards, and in our parks easily ends up in the lake by getting into the storm sewer grates on the street, or getting blown directly into the lake or a tributary river or stream. 

In 2012, Dr. Sherri “Sam” Mason, a professor at SUNY Fredonia, led the first ever Great Lakes plastic pollution survey. What she found was that Lake Erie contained twice the amount of plastic pollution than was previously found in the most contaminated ocean sample. Lake Erie was also found to have 56 times more plastic pollution than any other Great Lake! There are a few theories on why this is, including the fact that Erie has the most populated shoreline of the Great Lakes and that three Great Lakes (Superior, Huron and Michigan) all flow into Erie, contributing more plastic pollution.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 9:53 AM, 02.02.2016

Sustainability forum to focus on single-use plastics

The Fairview Park Green Team is pleased to announce it will host Cuyahoga Councilwoman Sunny Simon and the Alliance for the Great Lakes’ Hyle Lowry in an upcoming sustainability forum on single-use plastic bags. These bags create unnecessary waste, pollution in our waterways and on land, deplete our natural resources, harm wildlife, and jeopardize human health and food supplies.

Sunny Simon has served on Cuyahoga County Council since 2011. As Chair of the Education, Environment and Sustainability Committee, Ms. Simon is working toward making the Cuyahoga County government a leader in promoting environmentally sustainable practices for the long-term growth of the region. During the forum, Councilwoman Simon will speak about how the imposition of a fee on single-use plastic and paper bags countywide will impact the environment, consumers and retail businesses.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 9:52 AM, 02.02.2016

Bay Village dropped from Buckeye recycling route

The recycling collection bins located outside Dwyer Senior Center and the Village Bicycle Cooperative will be removed on Jan. 12. Buckeye Industries, a nonprofit organization that recycles plastics, cardboard and Styrofoam while training and employees individuals with disabilities, has discontinued their Bay Village route. Citing a depressed recycling market and economic concerns, Buckeye representative Carmen Siciliano said the organization’s final pick-up from the bins will be Jan. 11.

The Buckeye bins had been the only local option for residents looking to recycling Styrofoam, as well as certain plastics.

After Jan. 11, packaging (not food waste) Styrofoam may be bagged and taken to Buckeye’s westside Cleveland location, off West 130th Street near I-480. Visit for directions. Plastic film and bags can be dropped off for recycling at area retailers, including many Giant Eagle, Target and Lowe’s stores.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 9:52 AM, 01.05.2016

Wild Pals program provides education and support

The new Wild Pals animal adoption program at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center provides a refreshed offering of the previous adopt-an-animal program, focusing on native wildlife and providing increased educational content for supporters. Through the generous support of donors, this progam helps to offset the costs of medical care, food and maintenance for the animals on exhibit and used in educational programming.

Eighteen native species such as bald eagle, great horned owl, eastern fox snake and waterfowl are available for adoption for varying periods of time, allowing donors to customize their support. All Wild Pals adopters receive a certificate and photograph of the animal. They also receive a fact sheet full of valuable information on the animal they've chosen to support.

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Volume 7, Issue 24, Posted 9:43 AM, 12.15.2015

Eyes to the sky for Geminid Meteor Shower

Turn your eyes to the sky to be a part of the Geminid Meteor Shower. In the dark evening sky of Dec. 13, viewers should be able to witness many “shooting stars,” breathtaking streaks of light.

The Geminid Meteor Shower will be most visible Sunday evening, Dec. 13. No telescopes, binoculars or special equipment are needed. Katy Accetta, planetarium specialist at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, suggests midnight as the ideal time for viewing but says the spectacle should be visible as early as 10 p.m. Meteors will be visible as streaks of light through the air and should be observable throughout the sky, although she suggests looking east. A crescent moon will help by providing a dark night sky.

Meteors are composed of tiny bits of dust and rock left behind by soaring comets. When the Earth passes through this debris, these bits of comet litter penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere and begin to plummet towards the planet. They reach such incredible speeds that they ignite and catch fire.

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Volume 7, Issue 23, Posted 9:54 AM, 12.01.2015

Bay Village Green Team takes 1 step back, 3 steps forward

The community of Bay Village lost one of its most active environmental champions recently when longtime resident Brenda O’Reilly moved out of the city. An inaugural member of the Bay Village Green Team, which Mayor Debbie Sutherland assembled in 2007, Brenda helped lead the group of volunteers during her tenure with the team.

She served as co-chair for several years, later joining the board of trustees, and spearheaded a number of sustainability initiatives and partnerships including zero-waste events, Habitat for Humanity collections, administration of county recycling grants and educational workshops. Among her many other activities, Brenda helped launch the community garden and was part of the working group that drafted the city’s sustainability master plan in 2012. Observer readers may also remember Brenda for her column on “green” topics or the many articles extolling her environmental activism.

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Volume 7, Issue 22, Posted 10:31 AM, 11.17.2015

Trip to recycling center and landfill

Behind-the-scenes tour offers look at what happens to our waste

On Oct. 21, the Bay Village Green Team and Rocky River Green Team, along with students from Rocky River High School, visited Republic Services’ Resource Recovery Complex and landfill in Oberlin. A tour of the recycling center and landfill was provided to 31 attendees in order to gain an understanding of where our waste ends up. 

The Resource Recovery Complex is the place where all of our recycling goes. It is a single-stream recycling facility which means that customers are able to mix all of their recyclables together in one container, making it easier to recycle at home or work. At the Resource Recovery Complex, recycling is identified, sifted and sorted using high tech equipment such as magnets, optical scanners, and hand-sorting.

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Volume 7, Issue 21, Posted 10:12 AM, 11.03.2015

Deer activity increases as breeding season begins

Fall means changing leaves, earlier nights and lots of activity for the local white-tailed deer. For them, fall is breeding season.

Male deer, or bucks, frequently live together in bachelor groups during the summer season. In early October, as they prepare for breeding, bucks can be found scraping the ground to mark their territory and rubbing their antlers on trees. Their necks will swell in size and grow very muscular allowing them to become a greater opponent to another buck and to better protect a doe. The bachelor groups will break up as levels of testosterone and aggression soar.

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Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 10:14 AM, 10.06.2015

Trees: The gift of green

Planting a tree on your tree lawn or gifting a tax-deductible memorial tree in a Bay Village city park is no longer a mystery. The Bay Village Tree Commission is taking the guesswork out of the process.

The commission has a master planting plan for each street in Bay Village. Citizens can purchase a tree that is in the plan by contacting the Bay Village Service Department. Once the order for the tree is placed, city arborist Mike Polinski will arrange for the Service Department to install the new tree. Gifting a memorial tree requires the same process. In addition, the city of Bay Village will engrave a memorial plaque that will honor your special someone.

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Volume 7, Issue 18, Posted 9:05 AM, 09.15.2015

Westlake celebrates flower power

Westlake held its annual gala for greenery Aug. 12, as gardeners from across the city came together for the presentation of this year’s Westlake in Bloom contest awards. Eighty-one residents and businesses competed in 11 categories, ranging from window boxes and patios to entire yards and institutional landscaping, as well as the Evergreen Cemetery fence gardens and Hilliard Boulevard flower boxes.

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Volume 7, Issue 16, Posted 11:02 AM, 08.18.2015

Garden club fundraiser ticket deadline approaching

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to “have lunch with a food critic” on Wednesday, Sept. 23. Call Marie McCarthy at 216-221-6365 for information or a ticket order form. The Westlake Garden Club’s annual fundraiser luncheon will be held at the Westwood Country Club with guest speaker Joe Crea, restaurant and dining editor of the Plain Dealer.

Tickets are $35, advance sale only, and include valet parking. Deadline for ticket purchases is Sept. 17. Proceeds from the luncheon are used to support educational and community programs in the Westshore area.

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Volume 7, Issue 16, Posted 9:46 AM, 08.18.2015

Bay Village Green Team, Kiwanis Club partner for 'greener' Bay Days

Members of the Bay Village Green Team met with the Bay Village Kiwanis Club at their April 28 meeting to discuss ways to reduce waste and recycle items at the annual Kiwanis-sponsored Bay Days celebration.

The Green Team, established in 2007, has a record of working with Bay organizations to decrease the city's environmental footprint through recycling. These groups include the City of Bay Village, local Scout troops, BAYArts, Bay Skate and Bike Park and the Village Bicycle Cooperative.

The team sponsors educational seminars, like the recent Green Cleaning Workshop, and semiannual Habitat for Humanity collections. They led an effort to encourage recycling when the city switched to automated refuse collection, creating an informational video for their website and mailing labels to every household. Bay Village now has one of the highest residential recycling rates in the county, at 64 percent in 2013.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:24 AM, 05.05.2015

Westlake fifth-graders emphasize importance of trees

In celebration of Arbor Day, the Westlake City Tree Commission sponsored a poster and essay contest for Dover Intermediate School's fifth-grade students. Essays included information about the importance of trees for the city and its residents. The students' posters were colorful illustrations of the area's trees and the theme “Why Trees are Important to the City of Westlake.”

The posters showed methods of preserving and protecting trees as well as encouraging the planting of new trees for shade, erosion control, animal habitats, wind shelters and beauty. The posters were judged by the Westlake City Tree Commission members Mary Beth Schneidler, Margie Rossander, John Walz, Diane Morris, Westlake City Forestry Manager Stan Barnard and Westlake City Service Director Paul Quinn.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:20 AM, 05.05.2015

Call the experts before helping distressed wildlife

It’s that time of year when bunnies are just venturing out into the grass. Small birds are learning how to leave the nest. And newborn deer are stretching those long legs.

It’s also a time of year when the phone at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center rings almost constantly. Most often in the wild, these animals are born and grow independent of humans. But when concerned residents encounter baby wildlife that may need help, wildlife staff at the Center is happy to be a resource.

“This is definitely our busiest time of year,” says Amy LeMonds, director of wildlife.

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 9:55 AM, 04.07.2015

Clean water, fracking to be discussed at Westlake meeting

An update on current clean water and fracking issues in Ohio will be presented on Tuesday, April 21, 10 a.m., at Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road. The public is invited to attend the free event, sponsored by the Westlake/North Olmsted and Fairview Park Chapters of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 9:42 AM, 03.17.2015

Westlake in Bloom is just around the corner

Author and reporter Clare Ansberry put it best: “Gardens and flowers have a way of bringing people together, drawing them from their homes.” After a long, hard winter, the temperatures are on the rise, song birds are beginning their journey northward, and gardeners, anxious for another season of playing in the soil, pore over seed catalogues and gardening magazines and websites.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 9:53 AM, 03.17.2015

The Herb Guild Garden Club offers scholarships to area students

The Herb Guild Garden Club is offering scholarships to area graduating high school students who will be pursing a college degree in botany, forestry, horticulture, agriculture, landscaping, environmental science and culinary arts.

Practical consideration requires that scholarships be awarded to high school students who attend school in communities which are represented by The Herb Guild Garden Club members, including Westlake and Bay Village. Included in the list of eligible students are public, private and vocational high school students graduating in 2015.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 4:40 PM, 03.05.2015

Don’t let March winds and April showers leave you unprepared

March 1-7 is Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week, and the Cuyahoga County Office of Emergency Management urges everyone to be prepared for the upcoming severe weather season: flooding, tornadoes, and super cell thunderstorms with dangerously large hail and very high winds. Here are important severe-weather safety facts and tips.


Tornadoes cause an average of 62 deaths and 1,500 injuries per year in the United States.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 9:13 AM, 02.17.2015

Enjoy lunch and a movie with the Herb Guild Garden Club

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 10:04 AM, 02.03.2015

Winter in Bay Village

Susan Fabian of Bay Village captured this scene of a frozen Lake Erie from Huntington Beach.

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Volume 7, Issue 2, Posted 9:57 AM, 01.20.2015

Village Project fundraiser makes fall yard clean-up a breeze

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.

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Volume 6, Issue 23, Posted 10:35 AM, 11.11.2014

Learn about Westlake's improvements to watersheds and wetlands

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?

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Volume 6, Issue 22, Posted 9:37 AM, 10.28.2014

Village Project HQ undergoes outdoor transformation

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.

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Volume 6, Issue 21, Posted 10:06 AM, 10.14.2014

Learn about fall garden chores in Herb Guild meeting

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. 

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Volume 6, Issue 20, Posted 9:59 AM, 09.30.2014

Mum's the word

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.

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Volume 6, Issue 20, Posted 9:42 AM, 09.30.2014

Yard waste pollutes our waterways

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.

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Volume 6, Issue 20, Posted 9:44 AM, 09.30.2014

Westlake holds annual gala for gardeners

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.

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Volume 6, Issue 17, Posted 10:13 AM, 08.19.2014

Westlake in Bloom 2014 Winners

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.

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Volume 6, Issue 17, Posted 10:13 AM, 08.19.2014

Ames Family Hospice House earns health care environmental award

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."  

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Volume 6, Issue 15, Posted 9:45 AM, 07.22.2014

Westlake dedicates new community garden

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.

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Volume 6, Issue 14, Posted 10:59 AM, 07.08.2014

Planting Day kicks off Westlake in Bloom

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.

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 9:37 AM, 05.28.2014

A bloomin’ good time

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.

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 9:21 AM, 05.28.2014