Monday, October 10, 2011

Good Growing Season

We have come to the end of a good growing season. It is time to prepare our garden beds for the winter. The fruits of our labor were rewarded with a bounty of delicious vegetables, herbs and a visual assortment of beautiful flowers. The temperatures have dropped so it’s time to put the garden tools away, time to pack those garden gloves that look so wonderfully worn and served us so well away. Just seeing the garden gloves with yesterday’s dirt on them gave you a peaceful feeling, they reminded you of your time alone working the soil in your little patch of heaven. As we prepare our garden beds for the winter we can also take this time to plan next year’s crop. Remember when you would open the gate and make your way to your assigned plot you would notice other gardens with the most outstanding eye-catching plants and you would think to yourself, “I can do that”. Well now is the time to plan and research that plant and add it to your 2012 planting list. With every new idea there is an old one that still works. Don’t discount those plants that gave you that summer smile, but add a few new ones to the old standbys. The most ideal garden is one that combines neighborly ideas, a variety of vegetables, fragrant herbs and a few flowers to excite the senses. Our winter homework is just beginning, relive those summer thoughts and remember to start mentally preparing your plot for an even better 2012 summer garden. Put your garden bed to sleep for the winter, clean those garden tools and imagine all the possibilities of next year. See you in the spring!

Writings by Robin, Bay Community Gardener

Monday, August 1, 2011

Take a Walk Through the Garden

It is very difficult to be in a bad mood when you visit the Community Garden. From the moment you walk through the gate you are welcomed by an assortment of plants, some of which are enjoying the peak of the season and are showing off for you. Some plants tower over your head as you pass. Other plants are so full of fragrance that it catches you by surprise. You need to walk slowly to take in the full effect of what is on display. If you walk too fast you will miss that perfect little flower mixed in with all the hearty vegetables. As you look around you also can sense the tender care that was cultivated into each plot of soil. Some are more experienced than others but that is also the beauty of it, each garden has its own individual charm to offer. A good friend once called the garden “their sanctuary” and I think that is a good description.

If you haven’t been to the garden yet, take a stroll through. You won’t regret it. Escape your worries and let the Community Garden work its magic on you too. Your troubles will be lighter when you leave.

Writings by Robin - a Bay community gardener

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer is Here!

It seems so long since we dared venture outside without an umbrella. The rainy weather dampened our spirits for awhile but now that cloud has passed and it’s so good to feel the warmth of the sun again. Summer is all about warm days, lemonade, bike riding, ice cream cones and enjoying the outdoors. Finally, pleasant summer days are here. Thoughts of short sleeves, evening breezes and the beauty of color are upon us. The grass is greener than ever before. The trees seem fuller and blooms have sprung overnight. Garden centers have become a flurry of activity. We are all anxious to play in the sun, plant flowers, watch our vegetable gardens grow and just relish in the thought that there is no need to run and take cover. Get out your bike, garden tools or just take a leisurely walk next door to say hi to your neighbor. Get out into the warm weather, but leave the umbrella at home this time. It’s finally time to have fun in the sun. Enjoy!

Writing by Robin - a Bay Community Gardener

Sunday, May 15, 2011

May 28th Rib Rockin' Raffle

The Bay Village Green Team supports the Bay Skate & Bike Park's Rib Rockin' Raffle and so can you!

This year’s event will be on Saturday, May 28th, from 5-11 PM at the Bay Lodge, 492 Bradley Road. Over 10 teams will face off to bring you the best ribs of the year! Enjoy the rib tasting and be a part of the judging. There will be celebrity judging for the best ribs, plus a People’s Choice Award , with prizes for 1st ($500), 2nd ($250), and 3rd ($100).

This is the second Rib Rockin’ Raffle to be held at the Bay Lodge. The event is a great evening of fun and entertainment. Live local music will be provided by Hypnotic Dog. Also featured is a silent auction with all kinds of unique packages and products from local merchants to bid on. The $50 ticket price also allows you to try your luck in the reverse raffle for a grand prize of $1000.

The Rib Rockin’ Raffle benefits the Bay Skate & Bike Park, and is brought to you by Savannah Bar & Grill, 30676 Detroit in Westlake.
To purchase your tickets, enter a rib team, donate to the silent auction, or be a sponsor , contact John Underation at 330-607-2477. Tickets to attend the event are $50 each.

Monday, April 25, 2011

April Meeting Updates

The City is working with the County Planning Commission to craft a sustainable master plan to include a community visioning portion. Mayor Sutherland along with Paul Alsenas, Carol Thaler and Chris Alvarado from the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, were all present at the meeting. The master plan was last updated 10 years ago and is largely around land use planning. The Mayor would like to take this opportunity to update the master plan and set a vision for where the City wants to go and where the residents want to go. There is a desire to have the master plan address a broader perspective, including how the City grows in a sustainable way, addressing everything from human capital to health and education, expanding it beyond land use and zoning. According to Paul Alsenas, our region leads the nation in the sustainability effort. He reviewed examples of innovation and leadership in the field that are occurring in Northeast Ohio. Carol Thaler gave a presentation and reviewed a slide with the group that showed that Environment, Culture, and Economics must all be integrated to be truly sustainable. The group then discussed how to expand the current master plan to include a sustainability vision. The Green Team is very excited to work with the City on this project.

A brief update was given on the Bay Community Garden by Bob Shields. To date, 120 plots have been spoken for with only a few remaining plots available. There has been a change in rules this year where community gardeners are being asked to provide 1-2 hours of service within the garden each month to help with general maintenance such as grass cutting and tending to common areas like the sunflower garden and pumpkin patch. So far, the response for volunteers has been incredible. Residents at The Knickerbocker want to get in on the gardening action as well and have requested 7, one-half plots (so, 3.5 beds)—the beds need to be raised to around 30 inches. Bob is looking for individuals or groups to help with labor and materials. If you are interested in helping out, please email Bob at:

Volunteers are needed for 2 upcoming GT events—May 5th for the Bike-to-School Safety Fair from 6:30-8:30 PM at the Bay Middle School. Volunteers are needed to set up the table and promote Green activities. On Saturday, May 21st the 4th Annual Waterway clean-up is planned with Bay High School Project Earth Club from 11 AM-2 PM. Eryn Whistler, the Project Earth adviser, would like to expand the clean up beyond the waterways, and is looking for adult volunteers to assist the students in specific areas. Anyone interested, please contact the GT at:

Our next regular monthly meeting will be Tuesday, May 10 at the Bay Community House beginning at 6:30. Make a difference, get involved!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

SPRING, The Promise

With spring comes a promise that better uplifting sunny days are ahead. There is no turning back the clock. We are guaranteed that temperatures will soon be going up, jackets will be coming off and a breeze of fresh air will soon be coming through the window. The heavy feeling of winter will be just a memory. Spring is the time to refresh our way of thinking. It is time for us to make room for the possibility of new growth. Just as the earth was silent under the snow, we have been silently waiting for this time to arrive. In a way we have all been dormant, but now the time has come for us to come alive. Spring is a hopeful time of year, it is a fresh start. This is the time to have new goals and new plans. This is the time when it feels good to break free and just breathe. Walk out into the fresh air and begin to imagine all the possibilities that spring can bring. Visualize all the colors that have been absent for all these months but will soon be in abundance. Picture in your mind the beauty of a newly planted garden. Mother Nature has given us the next season to enjoy she has kept her promise now it’s up to us to make the most of it.

Writing by Robin - a Bay Community Gardener

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

March Meeting Updates

We were joined at this month's meeting by Amy Roskilly of the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conversation District and Suzanne Krippel and Jill Lis from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health to review a grant that they have received from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to conduct a study of the Huntington Beach water shed. The goal of the study is to improve the water quality at Huntington Beach by reducing pathogen inputs (e-coli) from the surrounding water shed (Porter Creek). The contamination sources will be identified, and an action plan to address them (possibly with future grants) will be developed. The study covers 2 years and will look at e-coli levels in the water. In the first year, the storm sewer fall outs that contribute the most contamination will be identified and samples will be taken, particularly when it rains. The University of Toledo will be doing an in-depth study of the samples. In the second year, the surface water where there are a lot of impervious surfaces will be sampled. The results of the study will be published under the Great Lakes Accountability Systems (GLAS).

Amy and Suzanne are also involved in the education of residents around storm water management. There are simple steps that individuals can take to reduce storm water run off, including rain barrels (make one at our upcoming workshop), rain gardens, reduce impervious surfaces on driveways, wash your car on the lawn, plant trees, etc.

After the presentation, the Green Team discussed the fact that there is a volume problem with storm water, even without the contamination. Case in point—the significant flooding that occurred on Porter Creek in February and early March. The development that replaces trees and soil with impervious surfaces (concrete) is a large contributor to the volume problems with the water shed.

Cornelia Ryan provided information on the native plants of the year, from the Lake Erie Allegheny Partnership for Biodiversity. Invasive species pose some of the greatest threats to the biodiversity of our region. By planting native plants, you will see many benefits, including: Attract native wildlife, reduce erosion, less fertilizer and watering, and connect people to nature. The native plants featured for 2011 are: Blazing Star (Liatris spicata), Allegheny Serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis), and Common Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)

Mark your calendar for these BVGT Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, April 13---7-8:30 PMCompost Seminar—Bay Community House

Saturday, April 16---9 AM-5 PMHabitat for Humanity Drop Off—Police Station

Wednesday, April 27---7-8:30 PMRain Barrel Workshop—Bay Community House

Saturday, May 21---9 AM-5 PMHabitat for Humanity Drop Off—Police Station

Saturday, May 21---10:30 AM-2 PMAnnual Waterway Cleanup

For a complete set of Minutes from the March 8th meeting email us at Join us at our next regular GT meeting on Tuesday, April 12th, 6:30 PM, at the Bay Community House.

Make a difference, get involved!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Composting Seminar 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 land fill. 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 the land fills 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

A properly maintained compost pile will have an “earthy” smell and will provide you with a free source of valuable organic soil amendments to use in place of fertilizers.

Compost Seminar:

Come and join Kathy Rocco of the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District on Wednesday, April 13, 7-8:30 PM to learn all about backyard composting. The Seminar will be held at the Bay Community House, 303 Cahoon Road, in Bay Village and is open to the public. The seminar is free and there will be two styles of outdoor compost bins available for purchase at a discounted price of $50 each. There is also a compost scrap pail for $5. (Cash or check only).

To register:

Contact Warren Remein

Sunday, March 6, 2011

News on the Community Garden

The Bay Village Community Garden will be opening in early to mid April, weather permitting. The garden is located at the corner of Forestview & Wolf Roads and affords residents the opportunity to learn and practice sustainable, organic gardening methods.
Sponsored for Bay residents in a partnership that includes the BVGT, the City and the BV School Board, the community garden is all about sustainability. Not only does the garden allow residents and service organizations to grow healthy, organic, local food, but a technique called
square foot gardening is used to maximize the crops produced in the 4'x8' plots.
With square foot gardening, you plant within each square foot, not in rows. The many "green" advantages by this type of planting includes less land and water usage (as the crops are close together), and fewer weeds.

A public meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 22nd beginning at 6:30 PM at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, 28728 Wolf Road, to discuss the upcoming year and answer questions from Community Garden renters and potential renters.

Plots for the 2011 growing season (April-November) are available on a first come, first serve basis to Bay residents, so sign up early by contacting Bob Shields at: if you are interested in renting a plot or if you have any questions.

See you at the garden!

Friday, February 25, 2011

February Meeting Updates

Kids + Passion = Energy; that’s how this month’s GT meeting began.

Mrs. Martha Fisher’s 3rd grade class from Westerly Elementary School gave an awesome presentation on their rain barrel project to the Green Team. The class plans to raise awareness for storm water management by assembling and selling rain barrels this spring. This is a wonderful project that the class is undertaking—there was a lot of enthusiasm for the project by everyone there--the children, their parents, and GT members.

The Community Garden is preparing to open this spring—targeting early April to open, weather dependent. Fifty Nine plots are already assigned—a total of 130 are available. Bay community garden head Bob Shields is looking for people to chair and participate on the various sub committees. A new fence will be purchased. There are plans to hold a kickoff meeting for Community Garden participants in March. A new requirement for community garden service will be added this year.

On the waste management front... Council approved Automated Trash Pick-up with a vote of 7-0 in January. The ATP will include increased curbside recycling (of cardboard, mixed paper) and compost (yard waste in brown bags). The green team is in strong support of this initiative due to the potential to significantly increase the recycling within the city. The Green Team plans to support the ATP roll out by working with Republic to create labels for the inside, top of the containers. Bay will be the first west side community to have labels on the recycle containers—this should increase the recycle compliance. The Green Team will also publish various alternatives for using or donating your used trash can. We don’t want them going to the land fill!

Ideas include:

· Donate those in good shape to Habitat for Humanity (must be clean)

· Donate those that are blue in good shape to the Bay Schools

· Keep them for excess trash, that will be picked up monthly

· Repurpose them into compost containers. This is a great way to use a can that has holes, as holes are needed to aerate the compost. An informational link is also provided on our website for repurposing to a backyard digester in the January 2011 Meeting Update posting.

· If all else fails, recycle them. Chances are the metal or plastic can be recycled (probably not curbside)

Upcoming Events

· Wednesday, April 13, 7 PM Bay Community House—Compost Seminar with Kathy Rocco of the Solid Waste District

· Saturday, April 16, 9am to 5pm Habitat for Humanity Pick Up at the BVPD parking lot

· Wednesday, April 27, 7 PM Bay Community House—Build a Rain Barrel with Amy Roskilly of the Cuyahoga County Soil and Water Conservation District.

· Saturday, May 21, 10:30 AM to 2 PMProject Earth Water Way Clean Up

· Saturday, May 21, 9am to 5pm—Habitat for Humanity Pick Up at the BVPD parking lot

For a complete set of Minutes from the February 8th meeting email us at Join us at our next regular GT meeting on Tuesday, March 8th, 6:30 PM, at the Bay Community House—New location to note.

Make a difference, get involved!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Winter, a Time to Rest

The beautiful winter season brings not only frigid weather but also a stark beauty that is absent during the rest of the year. The leafless trees remind us of a black and white picture that is quietly serene. It has a calming effect on you and it can easily put you into a winter trance. It is true that winter takes its toll on us physically and mentally. It tests our physical endurance. Whether we are battling the frigid winds or trying to be sure footed on a slippery walkway it challenges us. The time that it takes to put on all the extra layers of clothing is enough to wear us out before we even begin our outdoor adventure. The winter season also brings fewer hours of daylight which makes us crave the warmth of our homes and earlier bedtimes. While the weather is cold outside let us appreciate that as of now there is no yard work to be done. Let us relax, have some hot cocoa, sit back and save our energy. Soon the spring temperatures will bring raking, planting and plenty of outdoor work. All the seasons of the year have a unique appeal and each one is a work of art in its own way. Be patient with Mother Nature and remember under the heavy blanket of white snow, a wonderful surprise awaits us, the promise of spring.

Monday, January 31, 2011

January 2011 Meeting Updates

The Bay Village Green Team hit the ground running in the New Year. Despite the weather, the January meeting brought together a few familiar faces of the past along with some new faces from the community–welcome one and all!

In the past the GT has identified and focused on 5 areas of sustainability that include: general sustainability, waste management, transportation, environment and energy & green buildings. Since the budding success of the community garden last summer a 6th category was added with the heading of local foods.

2011 goals were discussed in each of the areas beginning in communications. Some highlights include: The BVGT fact sheet is currently in its final stage of completion, soon to be ready for release; the team is looking for ideas and writers for monthly “green” articles for submission to the Westlake Bay Observer; arrange for speakers at the monthly meetings on a quarterly basis and develop a presence on the new city website.

For those of you that didn’t know… on January 24th City council members unanimously voted to pass the implementation of automated trash pick-up in the city beginning this Spring. Although this is a city-sponsored project, the Green Team is in strong support of the increased curbside recycling that will be available. We’ll be promoting recycling awareness as part of the ATP roll-out to help residents identify the proper items to be placed in the recycle bins by creating a label to be attached to the lids of each Recycle bin. The team is currently writing a grant proposal to the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District for funding on a postcard to all residents on the Recycle Bank Program as well as a video explaining how and why to recycle for posting on the City website. The grant will be awarded the end of March. Ideas were discussed on the best method for disposal of existing residential trash cans to avoid being land filled. A city-wide collection and donation to Habitat for Humanity was suggested as one possible solution. Old trash cans can also be easily repurposed for composting or digesting food scraps or animal waste appropriately and responsibly. Here is a great video link for a DIY backyard digester:

For a complete set of minutes from the January 11th meeting email us at Join us at our next meeting Tuesday, February 8th at 6:30 PM—City Hall. Make a difference, get involved!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

2011 Bay Village Round-Up Collection Dates

In conjunction with the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District the Bay Village Service Department will have the following Round-Ups collection dates for the 2011 season.
Computer Collection: April 11 – April 16, 2011; August 15 – August 20, 2011
Household Hazardous Waste: April 25 – April 30, 2011; September 12 – September 17, 2011
Tire Collection: August 15 – August 20, 2011
Drop-off your old computers, household hazardous waste and tires during the above dates at the Bay Village Service Center, 31300 Naigle Road, or call the Service Department at (440) 871-1221 for more information. Hours of collection will be Monday through Friday, 7:30am to 11:15am & 12:15pm to 3:00pm.; Saturday hours 8:00am to 12:00pm.
Phone Book recycling collection takes place at 12 Cleveland Metropark locations including the Huntington Beach Reservation in Bay Village (south side of Lake Road) beginning June 1st running through September 30th.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Green Your Commute

Make a New Year’s Resolution to save money and green your commute. Save wear and tear on your car. Relax --let someone else do the driving! 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/ride—much cheaper than most downtown parking. And, you can get bus passes that reduce the cost even further.

West Shore Flyer--Route 55F
The Bus route goes through Bay Village—on either Lake Road, Wolf Road, or Osborn—within a few blocks of just about anyone that lives in the City. The route continues on
Lake Road to Clifton Boulevard, and on into Downtown Cleveland. Morning eastbound routes run between 6 and 8 AM. Evening westbound routes run between 3:30 and 6:30 PM.

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)
Westlake Park-N-Ride Route 246
This is a great option if you prefer a route with no stops into Downtown Cleveland. The Park-N-Ride leaves from the RTA Lot that is between
Columbia and Clague, off of Sperry Drive. There is also an entrance off of Columbia road in Westlake just past the Rail Road tracks. Morning eastbound routes run between 6 and 8:30 AM. Evening westbound routes run between 3:30 and 6:30 PM.

You can also connect at the Westgate Transit Center to come in to Downtown Cleveland. From the
Westgate Transit Center, you can make a connection with several bus routes, including Route 26 or Route 55 into Downtown Cleveland.

Detroit-Wager—Route 46
This bus route is on
Detroit Avenue between Crocker Park and the Westgate Transit Center. The westbound route has a stop at the Westlake Park-N-Ride. The bus schedule is hourly throughout the day, ending around 6 PM.
Center Ridge—Route 49
This bus route connects Crocker Park (corner of Market and Main) & St John West Shore Hospital with the Westgate Shopping Center & Fairview Hospital via Center Ridge Road. You can also get a connection at the
Westgate Transit Center or the West Park Rapid Station. The bus schedule is hourly throughout the day, ending around 10 PM.

For specific bus routes, schedules, and fares, visit

The Bay Village Green Team meets at 6:30 PM on the second Tuesday of each month at the Bay Village City Hall, second floor conference room. Please join us at an upcoming meeting on January 11 or February 8.