Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society to host 31-mile bird watching walk May 23

Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society to host 31-mile bird watching walk May 23 – Cleveland.com: “The entire length of the 31-mile route is part of the Rocky River Important Bird Area. Walkers are seeking pledges to help them finish their 5-year survey of birds in the area, which is being done in hopes of securing funds for Cleveland Metroparks to buy additional parcels of land in the valley so they can be protected from development.”

What a wonderful way to support Cleveland Metroparks and enjoy a day-long outdoor adventure with experienced birders. Check this out and expand your horizons.

For more information: visit the Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society’s web page.


Spring Plowing Days

Visit Malabar Farm on May 16 & 17, 2009 from 11AM – 4PM for this free event.

Malabar Farm’s Spring Plowing Days features the beautiful and majestic draft animals which once were the mainstay of farming in early Ohio. The setting for this event is the rich rolling countryside of Pleasant Valley where agriculture has played an important role since the 1820’s. Malabar Farm State Park and the Central Ohio Draft Horse Association will once again host Annual Spring Plowing Days. Spring Plowing Days will feature teamsters and draft teams testing their skills in competition. All competitors must be members of the Central Ohio Draft Horse Association. This is just one of the opportunities Malabar offers visitors to reflect on and experience many things which have changed as well as a few which have stayed the same.

Sunday’s events include adult classes for men and women in the box-wagon obstacle course. The log skidding contest begins at 11:00 a.m. and the weekend’s activities wrap up with the fun pull. Teamsters pit the strength of their teams against their competition to see which team can pull the greatest load over a distance of 25 feet.

The Malabar Farm Restaurant is open Tuesdays through Thursdays 11:00 a.m. to 8:00pm; Fridays & Saturdays 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; and Sundays 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. year around. For reservations or more information call 419-938-5205. Additionally, the Malabar Farm Hostelling International, will be holding their Annual Open house from 12 noon till 4pm both days. Call 419-892-2055 for more information.

Malabar Farm is located 12 miles southeast of Mansfield, one mile west of SR 603 on Pleasant Valley Road. Louis Bromfield, a world-renowned novelist and conservationist, created the farm in the 1940s as a demonstration farm for progressive conservation practices. Malabar Farm State Park is the only working farm in the Ohio State Park system. Programs and special events are offered year-round. For more information about this or other programs, call the park office at 419-892-2784 or visit our Website at malabarfarm.org.

While you are in the area, check out the Butternut Loop Trail at Malabar Farm State Park.


Symbolic river may be removed from polluted river list

Ohio.com – Groups working to get Cuyahoga River off pollution list: “The once-dead and still-symbolic Cuyahoga River might be removed from an international list of polluted Great Lakes hot spots.”

The burning river that spurred on the environmental movement is clean enough in some places to be removed from the list of polluted rivers. Where once no fish could live, now dozens of species of fish thrive.

The Clean Water Act calls for swimable, fishable water. The Cuyahoga River is to the point where it is fishable. Continued problems with combined sewer outflows on the middle and lower Cuyahoga keep it from being considered swimable, and canoeing is not recommended, but this is real progress. I have canoed the lower Cuyahoga and it is a wonderful, peaceful, wild experience. I can’t wait until the day the bacteria levels from combined sewers and other sources are low enough that someone decides to open a canoe livery.

What a wonderful success story that is coming together.


Do your Part

Comment on pending decisions in your National Park!

Ever wonder how major environmental decisions are made? Well, the National Park Service, and other federal agencies, must comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when deciding about “major federal actions having a significant effect on the environment. Essentially, a federal agency has to consider reasonable alternatives to any proposal that might significantly effect the environment, and gather public input while doing so.

They are not necessarily constrained to choose the alternative with the least impact. They are, however, required to make a statement about it and are subject to public scrutiny. Such statements are called Environmental Impact Statements. They are created when it is fairly clear that there will be significant impacts. When the implications of an action are not as clear, and Environmental Assessment (EA) may be completed. An EA is less comprehensive than an EIS, but analyzes whether an EIS must be done or not.

When preparing an EA or EIS, agencies are required to seek public input, both early in the process (called scoping) and when they have formulated the alternatives and are ready to make a decision. How does the public get involved? How can you and I make a difference?

Well, since this blog is mostly interested in parks, here is a link to the National Park Service’s site where you can find opportunities to comment on current decisions being considered. For those of you in northeast Ohio like me, here is a link to find what decisions are being made at Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

If you care about parks and the environment, you have an obligation to keep up on the decisions our public employees are making, and to tell them how you feel. If you support the decisions they are making, tell them so. If you don’t support their path, tell them that too, and tell them what they ought to do and why. After all, maybe your comment will be the one that saves a precious resource that would otherwise have been lost.

So, keep tabs on what is going on in your National Park, and get outside and get to know the nature of the parks so that when the time comes to defend it, you know what you value about your parks!


Bird Watching in Cleveland and NE Ohio | Ohio Birding – cleveland.com

Bird Watching in Cleveland and NE Ohio | Ohio Birding – cleveland.com: “The trees appeared to be dripping with yellow-rumped warblers, whose wheezy songs echoed all around us. The most common of songbirds were accompanied by a wave of early-arriving warblers: Northern parula, prothonotary, black-throated blue, black-throated green, ovenbird, blue-winged, pine, Blackburnian, black-and-white, Tennessee, Nashville, hooded and both waterthrushes, Northern and Louisiana.”

This article may inspire a few couch potatoes to get out and explore nature. I sure hope it does. Take a look at the article, then look at our beginning birding page to get some ideas about how to find and identify our fine feathered friends.



Cuyahoga Heights: Storytellers will tell tales Saturday in Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation – Sun Courier

Cuyahoga Heights: Storytellers will tell tales Saturday in Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation – Sun Courier

Here’s an opportunity to support an under-used communication medium and show your kids how people entertained one another in the past. Traditional story telling!